Making Life ’App-En Offline

Published: 18th September 2014 06:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th September 2014 06:06 AM   |  A+A-

Spending vast amounts of digital time during our waking hours is part of our normal routine today. And there is nothing wrong with that. Our homes are littered with devices (called gizmos) like smart phones, laptops, tablets (not necessarily medicines), headphones. The ‘app’ world has taken over our lives making everything as easy as the swish of a thumb. There are ‘apps’ for monitoring calories, weight, recipes, booking tickets, taxis  including apps on mindfulness for peace and so on. Social networking sites, games, movies and radios serve as entertainment and companies offer attractive prizes including social recognition and fame for the user (in an instant of course). Where education is concerned, colleges and schools recognise the use of Internet for assignments, class notes (including sourcing information from scholarly articles).

 ‘Wait a sec….. !’ is a common plea from the device user to you when you are desperately trying to get a word in. The person may be peering at their mobile device, engrossed in the latest game or social post. Second-by-second updates make it hard for users to tear their eyes away from the screen. Of course, you will get instant attention when you reach out to the same person through a device!

Cyber distress: Like tobacco and alcohol use can lead to addiction (or dependence) so can the compulsive usage of gizmos. I read about a recent study conducted among teenagers reporting how those aged 13-15 years were hooked to online gaming; those aged 15-17 years were addicted to social networking sites (Sharma et al, at NIMHANS, Bangalore). Cyber ‘de – addiction’ clinics are now coming up to help persons addicted to gizmos in Indian metros. Besides counselling, the person is encouraged to interact  with others via board games, read a book and talk with someone. Remember that accepting the fact that one is addicted is the first and the most difficult step.

What are some signs that we are gizmo-dependent?

 Getting emotionally dependent on the gadget to feel good. For  example, we feel boosted depending on the number of ‘likes’ or friend requests or on the number of followers we have on social networking sites.

 Feeling let down, getting disappointed, facing rejection, anger (abusive, violent to those who ask us to get off devices) and losing control are some common emotions faced by people addicted to online activities. Some can feel like ending their lives.

 Choosing online activities over eating healthy (routine mealtimes), proper sleep (late night chats, browsing) and physical activity (sports, outdoor life including walking for normal chores)

 Falling interest in studies, hobbies or fun times at home and outside Go outside, smell the flowers and take that much-needed gadget holiday!

Stay up to date on all the latest Bengaluru news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp