According to a survey by a regional daily the increase in people using social media has increased drastically in the past year .In 2022 ,the average a person used to spend on social media was 3 hours a day .Now 70% of the population uses social media upto 7 hours a day .Let’s talk to Ankith S Kumar on the topic “Social Media – A boon or bane ?”
Q1) Do you feel small children getting addicted to phones nowadays is causing harm to them?
I believe that anything beyond a certain limit becomes poisonous or dangerous for anyone. Even the good things that are done in excess can become bad. The same is with phones. If the children use within desirable limits, it won’t be an issue. The problem starts when they get hooked to the devices. When phones start disrupting their daily routines and interferes with their development, that is where the danger begins. Now-a-days, parents are using mobile phones as a way of distraction to make their children eat food. Yeah, it may make the process of feeding easy, but it will create a habit for children to depend on mobile phone videos to eat food every day. I have seen children asking for food with parents just for the sake of watching YouTube videos on the phone, So yes, there is an alarming rate of addiction to phone among children as small as 1-year-old
Q2) We see a very common phenomenon nowadays. Even when we are sitting in a room with 5-6 people, almost everyone is on their phones! What do you think has caused this habit?
People nowadays are bored easily because of the excess alternatives of entertainment that are available to us. The simple act of talking and sharing seems to be too boring to people compared to the excitement they get through social media. People seek an escape from the harsh and boring realities of life. Everyone wants sensations and excitement which they rarely get just by talking. The social media platform allows you to be anything and anyone. It’s an easy escape and a fix. So, everyone prefers to be in the exciting world of online rather than plain offline. The phone has made the small smaller but pushed our loved ones further away. People have become more insensitive to each other due to technology.
Q3) What according to you can be done by the youth to ensure proper usage of social media?
Well, we can have stricter rules, regulations and laws for the use or engagement of social media. But it is always more effective if we ourselves have the will and determination to use social media for good purposes and stop ourselves from indulging in wrong temptations and habits through social media.
Q4) Do you feel somewhere or the other parents are a factor who needs to be blamed for social media addiction?
I wouldn’t say we should blame the parents, but I would say that children learn by imitating their parents . It is in fact the parents who first introduce the children to phones and channels, Children see, children do. If parents themselves spend too much time with their phones in the presence of their children, it is obvious the children too will do the same. So , parents must be careful in their behaviour in front of their children,
Q5) “Several hobbies like reading books, and outdoor activities can curb social media addiction to a limit “. How do you think youth can be inspired to take up such activities?
This has to happen from their childhood. Parents should encourage curiosity among children in sports and reading activities by indulging themselves in these activities and make it a point to see that such activities become of part of their daily life. There is a need for bigger library than a bigger TV at home.
Q6) Finally what is your take on this entire topic?
Yes, we really need to teach youth to maintain proper balance in their daily life. There is need to shift the youths from getting attracted to negative things to positive . We need a holistic change rather than in bits and piece. Awareness should be given at the early age and the parents also need to change their lifestyles into a positive one so that they can create a healthy environment for their kids
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