by Zareen Afridi | 13 APR 2018
The bizarre rise of social media has taken everyone by storm. An overwhelming 92% of adolescence want to be online every day. Social media has taken them in their grip in as less time as 2 years. If a teen spends an average of 16 minutes on homework then he is likely to spend 1.03 hours on watching videos and listening to music and another 1.29 hours on social media and games. This startling statistic has led us to talk to Dr Manish Jain, Consultant Psychiatry, BLK Super Speciality Hospital and Dr Swetha Gullapalli, Psychiatrist from Aasra Clinic, Hyderabad.
Fear of Missing Out
The question generally arises as to why there has been a sudden urge to be online and noticed? Dr Swetha begins by highlighting the loneliness experienced by the child, “Since parents are out on work, the child has no company and feels left out. He then resorts to means which are readily available to him, mainly the phone, tv and music gears. Social media is also a platform to gain approval as children can't openly discuss things with parents as they can with friends and strangers, which often lands them in trouble.”
Dr Manish believes that sharing your activities on social media is easy. Hence adolescents may ‘show-off’ their scholastic or non-scholastic activities, their achievements, challenges, trips or other earnings. This brings them adulation and major fan-following, approval and recognition that they often fail to see in their parents. They start enjoying more in the virtual world and feel less connected with real world and real people.
Look Out For These Signs
According to Dr Manish Jain, the first signs that show up include constant anxiety, short temperedness and dependency on the internet. And these signs may cover anyone who spends too much time on the internet, whether it is an adolescent, couple or members of the same family. “The person will always be concerned about the internet connection, so you can see he is impatient at all times”, Jain adds.
At first, no particular signs will be visible. But then they become major and then start irking, ponders Dr Swetha. “Children are not much interested in your talks and are more drawn to their phones”, she says. This is also a stinging problem among couples as each of them is busy in their own realm of world where they have friends, bae’s, enemies, bucket lists to complete and certain #goals to fulfil. Very less is left after all this to actually give to the love of your life.
Pressing The Escape Button
Once the problem is diagnosed, solution needs to be readily available. “To move out, adolescents/ couples should have immediate alternatives which are more interesting and engaging than their virtual world. Spanking kids or being harsh on them is no solution as it often turns them rebellious”, Dr Swetha suggests.
“In order to get more quality time with family, there has to be a lesser phone time. Hence fixed timings can be set for children and couples alike (by mutual consent) so that ample time is given to the closed ones”, concludes Dr Manish.
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