Wednesday November 13, 2019

Here’s How You can Fight Your Digital Addiction

Vohra suggested that when parents realise that their child is spending too much time on screen, it is very important first to have a dialogue with the kid and ask them to cut down on media consumption

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TikTok has over 54 million monthly active users (MAUs) in India. Pixabay

Digital addiction is real and it could be as dangerous as drug addiction, warned psychiatrists while outlining practical ways to fight the urge to use gadgets non-stop both among children and adults.

The warning came following reports of a 24-year-old mother committing suicide last week in Tamil Nadu after she was prevented from using TikTok and a 16-year-old student from Madhya Pradesh suffering a major cardiac arrest and losing his life after playing PUBG for six straight hours last month.

The key to fighting digital addiction is to realise the problem when someone develops it, the experts said.

Parikh also recommended that adults should undergo a four hours of “digital detox” every week – a period when they do not use their phone or any gadget.

“If one finds it difficult to go through those four hours then there is a problem which needs to be addressed,” he said.

People who are addicted to using gadgets, tend to get “withdrawal symptoms” in the form of always thinking about that them, or becoming irritable with disturbed sleep when they try to stop using their devices, said Sandeep Vohra, Senior Consultant, Psychiatry, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi.

“Digital addiction is as bad as addiction to any other drug. So if you are hit by digital addiction, the signs are that you actually tend to go off your normal routine life. You are always dependent and on the screen,” Vohra told IANS.

Such people can neglect personal hygiene and their own self. They also tend to stop interacting with the society, with their family members and stop thinking about their responsibilities or stop doing their day-to-day chores.

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Some players claimed to have received the reminder within an hour and a half of playing the game. Wikimedia Commons

“One can have clinical depression, anxiety, obsessive symptoms, insomnia, irritability, and difficulty in concentrating on other things.

“And you can have in rare cases, when one becomes over-dependent, psychosis. So you have to be aware of all this and it can be very challenging if you don’t realise that you are going into addiction,” Vohra added.

It is not just adults who are vulnerable to digital addiction as use of smartphones and other gaming devices have become common among children.

But do we know when a child starts showing signs of addiction and when to seek help?

The experts suggested that parents should be alarmed when they notice that a child’s ability to live life normally has got affected and they lash out badly when digital access is denied.

“Parents need to be good role models. If parents spend too much time on digital gadgets then children learn and follow by example. Encourage children to be social and develop hobbies,” Parikh said.

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“If you keep focusing your child’s attention on indoor activities there are higher chances of him/her becoming digitally addicted. Therefore encourage him/her to play sports or meet friends and family. Reading is also a great way to combat boredom if indoors,” he added.

Vohra suggested that when parents realise that their child is spending too much time on screen, it is very important first to have a dialogue with the kid and ask them to cut down on media consumption.

“If they feel that either the child is not responding the way they want, or if they feel that the child is trying to tell them lies and still using time on screen, then it’s better to consult a mental health professional,” Vohra informed. (IANS)

Next Story

Instagram Takes on TikTok with ‘Reels’ Feature

In November last year, Facebook quietly released a stand-alone app called "Lasso" to compete with TikTok

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Instagram app logo is displayed on a mobile screen in Los Angeles. VOA

Facebook-owned Instagram has launched a new video-music remix feature called “Reels” to take on Chinese short video making app TikTok.

According to a report in TechCrunch on Tuesday, “Reels” will let users make 15-second video clips set to music and share them as Stories.

“Just like TikTok, users can soundtrack their ‘Reels’ with a huge catalog of music, or borrow the audio from anyone else’s video to create a remix of their meme or joke,” the report claimed.

Rolled out in the Brazilian market first, “Reels” will be available on both iOS and Android.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently said that in India, TikTok has gone ahead of Instagram. He also mentioned that TikTok works much like Instagram’s Explore feature.

According to Vishal Shah, Instagram’s Vice President of Products, the best way to succeed is to know who you are, what you represent and how you want to grow.

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TikTok has over 54 million monthly active users (MAUs) in India. Pixabay

“Instagram is the home to creativity and expression. That has been true from the day we were founded. It’s why we have a vast and robust creator ecosystem. It’s also why you see a lot of different platforms. It’s not just about video,” Shal told IANS in a recent interaction.

“It can be about photos, it can be about Stories, it can be about video and the benefit that we see from a platform like Explore is that we have the ability to look at the broad ecosystem, not just the people you directly follow,” he added.

Also Read: Apple Brings its Wireless AirPods Pro in India

Platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are facing strong competition from TikTok in the country. TikTok owner now plans to invest $1 billion in India despite the calls to ban the app.

In November last year, Facebook quietly released a stand-alone app called “Lasso” to compete with TikTok.

On Lasso, which is currently available in the US, users can record themselves dancing and lip-syncing to music, similar to what they can do on TikTok. (IANS)