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Lockdown, Covid and Mobile Addiction
Covid 19 has bought many new words (like lockdown, social distancing, N95 masks, sanitiser etc.), financial and emotional setbacks, fears, spiritual concepts and lot more in our new normal life.
Gadgets including mobile, laptop, tab, smart watch or TV are now integral part of our daily life. Initially, when these were invented they intend to make our routine easy and convenient. Mobile is no more means of calling only but it is mini-computer, TV, watch and much more.
With the increasing range of network connectivity and availability of cheaper internet, these utility gadgets now encroached our time, mind emotions, relations and physical health.
A recent survey done shows there is a gross increase in mobile usage during the lockdown. Pre lockdown average usage time was 4-5 hr/day which is increased to 6-8 hrs/day which means 3/4 of our active day time (considering 8 hr/day sleep time) is engulfed by these gadgets. This is a great matter of concern.
The most active, energetic and productive group of society is more vulnerable because according to various studies conducted in different countries shows persons of age group ranging from 15-35 years of age has tremendously increased mobile usage.
Although mobile has proved to be a great weapon which helps kids to attend online classes, work from home, online buying. But as mentioned, since ages “you have to lose something good, to get something better”. But this better now become worsen. Mobile, or whatever screen it may be, become a big health concern. Kids or even adults are addicted to screen.
Knowingly or un-knowingly we feel incomplete if we are not carrying our gadgets. We become anxious if our phone doesn’t ring, ping for a few minutes. Every minute or two we check our social media, email, likes, calls.
Health issues- Ranging from mental which includes anxiety, restlessness, depression, anger, fluctuation of mood are reported. Social media sites now become more dangerous than any other addiction. These sites are using modern techniques (artificial intelligence, data analysis, data mining) to read our mind and show things according to usage.
Physical activity is very much compromised due to mobile addiction. Common complaints are poor eye site, back pain, neck pain, headache, indigestion, hypertension…….. the list is endless. The sole cause is reduced physical activity. Kids and adolescents are more prone to addiction because of their developing brain and physique.
We have a lot of friends on social media indeed but we are missing a friend ‘in need’.
IT IS CONTROLLABLE, I use this word controllable because now gadgets and the internet is an integral part of our life but we should check before it becomes our life, kill us, our society.
Remedy- Restrict use of gadgets at least when we are at home, with kids. Increase physical activity, develop some new hobby, spend time with senior members of family and society (who are still not addicted to gadgets). Go for an outing with friends and family. Outdoor and indoor games also help. Gadget FAST is also a great idea. No TV, mobile, Tab or any other screen for one day in a week. If gadget fast is not possible one can try another idea and that is un-install all social media, OTT sites, online games for a day. Re install after a day or two. I personally do this. This is known as HARM REDUCTION TECHNIQUE.
Addiction is treatable. We together can.