Say NO – Bolo NA
Dr. Shirisha Sathe’s talk on Teenage or Screenage?
RC Pune Metro conducted the 3rd episode in the series on Addiction Prevention and Deaddiction, titled Say NO or Bolo NA on the topic of addition to various screens, like mobile phone screen, computer screen or even the TV screen. Our club partnered with Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University and our Rotaract Club.
Practicing Psychologist Dr. Shirisha Sathe was the guest expert and she focused on Internet and Mobile Phone addiction. After a smart introduction by Rtn. Amita Nene, the episode was flawlessly conducted by Rtn. Vandana Joglekar who interviewed the speaker.
To begin with, Dr. Sathe said that technological developments do not cause internet addiction, its indiscriminate use does. Although it is not physically consumed, its effects are similar to narcotic substances. Arrival of ‘likes’ or messages on internet provide instant gratification, resulting in release of dopamine, the ‘happiness hormone’. Same is true with gaming and gambling. This builds up neural networks in the brain which are attuned to seeking more gratification. Since internet is able to provide it, the cycle continues to build upon itself. Development of neural networks is quite intense during young age. If such dependence is allowed to develop in children or adolescents, they may permanently lose their capacity to connect with real people or to deal with the normal world.
Dr.Sathe opined that device dependence becomes self sustaining when failure to connect with the real world causes the person to spend more time in the virtual world. In extreme cases, youngsters are known to threaten suicide if deprived of the gadgets. In many others, it causes sleep deprivation.
Dr. Sathe informed that signs of addiction include lack of interest in normal activities like sports, travel, company of others, or normal activities which make people naturally happy. Prevention with strong monitoring and control is imperative. Families must enforce strict practices such as ‘No Internet
Day’ or ‘Silent Zone at Home’ or ‘No Cell-Phone at Dining Table’ etc to protect youngsters from addiction.
Youngsters also have to be helped to realize that screen addiction will turn into severe handicap for them later in life.
They have to follow a code of conduct of ‘Right to Use Responsibly’. Currently, there are no specific ‘internet deaddiction centres’. Prevention, through determined, educated, concerted and persistent action is the only solution.
Dr. Sathe concluded by saying that ways to fight internet addiction are similar to those used for substance abuse,
namely “control at the source” Since it is not possible to restrict the supply, we must curtail the demand. By nipping
the problem in the bud, ill effects of technology can be avoided.
Rtn. Vandana summed up the session by quoting a poem and thanked the speaker and Bharati Vidyapeeth on behalf of RCPM and District 3131. We are very thankful to Rtn. Rajendra Utturkar for connecting our club with Bharati Vidyapeeth.
Contributed by Rtn. Dileep Paranjpye