Digital addiction among children is a rapidly rising phenomenon nowadays. With technology being an inseparable part of our lives, especially during these times of the pandemic where the virtual world has become the new reality and the world is depending on technology for all its functioning, it also poses a threat to the young generation as they are easily prone to get influenced or addicted. An awareness session was conducted by the Gaudium School Counsellor, Ms. Sukanya Das for the young geckos of Grades 6 to 8 on the same.
The session was an eye-opener for the young geckos as they came to know about digital or technology addiction. Most of the children in the participating age group were very familiar with online gaming, social networking, and instant messaging platforms. The speaker explained how the constant urge to use these can increasingly become an impulse control disorder. She shared statistics, facts, and research data which showed the impact of excessive use of these on adolescent children. Various interesting psychological facts were also shared on why in many cases, some children take refuge in social media and online gaming rather than real-life socializing and physical games. The geckos were taken through the signs and symptoms of online gaming addiction which were shockingly not only behavioral such as anger, anxiety, withdrawal, but also physical such as vision impairment, poor hygiene, lack of sleep, headache, and many more.
Excessive video gaming has a lot of adverse effects on students- it often results in poor academic performance, unhealthy relationships with family members, lack of socializing, poor decision-making skills and the list goes on. To curb all these adverse effects, the students were taken through good practices with regards to online gaming and digital usage which they can follow. The geckos were trained in the session on how to understand the thin line which lies between good use and abuse of the internet.
The session being participatory, many geckos also expressed how playing online games have been helpful when they are stuck at home and bored. Ms. Sukanya helped them understand that it can be used to break the monotony as long as personal goals and priorities are undisturbed. She also advised the children to self-monitor and self- assess their gaming hours and if it seems uncontrollable, to seek help from parents. The geckos had good learning from this session. They became more aware of the danger of digital addiction which might be lurking around the corner. They are in a susceptible age, were resorting to online games that can be comforting and distracting from the monotonous life of staying indoors. The self-awareness taught to them along with the knowledge of good digital practices shared in the session, made the geckos empowered, capable of handling themselves in today’s virtual world.