Childhood at stake, say experts
Sources : Times News Network
Date of Publishing:02/07/2010
Location : Kolkata
Psychologists have a fair idea of how social networking adversely affects the behaviour of a young mind.
They are a rage among children but can impact studies as kids addicted to Facebook or Orkut often stay up late into the night. Subhra Chunder, a practicing psychologist, says, "The trend is gradually assuming menacing proportions. Children, used to getting everything they want in the virtual world, are creating trouble at home when parents refuse them access to the internet. This can lead to behavioral disturbances as the gap in communication with parents grows wider. On the other hand, social networking websites bring them close to people who may not be suitable for them. The profiles on such websites are often fake. I know of children who are just 10 years old and have started dating online."
Her views are echoed by Shikha Dey, consultant psychologist at Bodhoday and a member of Eastern Zonal Psychological association. She says, "In this lonely world, the pressure of studies, expectation of parents and teachers are driving students to social networking sites, where they seek solace in the virtual company of strangers who turn friends. Many do not even understand which ones are real profiles and which ones are fake. They even try to meet these friends away from home. This can lead to further distractions. A lot of children these days don’t tell their parents about their friends."
Dola Majumdar, who runs an NGO named Ganasahayata Welfare Society and is a practicing psychologist, adds, "Social networking sites hamper a child’s concentration. His mind is impressionable, and the wealth of distractions proves to be a lure. It is very dangerous for adolescent children, who indulge in adult conversations with unknown persons and may get trapped in a vicious cycle. Violence is also increasing. I once had a case in which a child studying in class IX, was addicted to the computer and sat in front of it for long hours. When he failed the examination, his parents brought him to me. He confessed that he was hooked on Facebook."
Anuttama Banerjee, associated with Eastern Zonal Psychological Association says, "Students who are addicted to social networking are basically lonely. Majority of these students do not spend quality time with their parents and family. On these websites, there is less fear of rejection and they feel accepted. Students often seek social affiliation. Gradually what starts as timepass turns into an addiction. Even watching television or playing videogames are an addiction. On a social networking site if one does not like a friend there is a way to shutting out him or her. There is enough freedom to handle a rejected relationship."— SB
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