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Mental Health

  • 10 August 2019
  • 4 replies

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With the ever changing times and the advent of technology there has been an increase in the addiction of individuals to the internet, mobile phones and other such forums thus making them move away from direct interaction with human beings and leading to being alone and lonely. Children are now not moving into play grounds but are getting stuck on their social media sites.
While, it will never be possible to disengage from this technological advancement as it has its advantages, it is increasingly becoming an addiction and breaking up families and relationships.
On this forum, I would request the views of the community on what action could be taken to create the healthy mix of technology and make sure it does not become an addiction.
I loom forward to your inputs.

4 replies

Hi @AshwaniBhakoo,

Your points are so valid. It's always good to give yourself a lazy day of rest with as little computer (and smartphone) time as possible. Yesterday, I did not turn on my computer at all. It coincidentally coincided with Lazy Day. 😁

I wonder how much online time can be considered as excessive use of the Internet. What do you and others think?
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Hi Maryam,
I do not think a time can be set but I think that screen time for critical work needs attention, for non critical work - out of office time - no screen time for office work. For social connections there needs to be an understanding that all - whatapp messages, all Facebook messages, all phone messages, all mails -- "do not have to be seen or answered immediately". Create a specific time - see and answer. The rest of the time my belief is - if someone needs me urgently - they will call me, I do not need screen time.
Hi @AshwaniBhakoo . You raise some interesting points, and some that definitely need to be considered. Here is my view on it.

I don't know that I would say that moving away from direct, face-to-face interaction makes you either alone or lonely, per se. I do not consider myself as alone when, for example, interacting with others in a forum like this. And it is perfectly possible to be lonely in a room full of people, you can still make no connections with others for various reasons.

We are certainly changing the nature of our interactions with others, but I don't know that I feel that is is necessarily bad and certainly not all bad. Living just this side of nowhere, in a largely rural county, the web is a source of many benefits for me.

Just for one, shopping -there just aren't a lot of stores down here and they do not carry everything I either need and/or want. While I can get the basic necessities like simple foodstuffs and household necessities locally, I am a two hour drive away from the nearest Art Supply store, Music store, and clothing store that might carry things in my size, just to name a few.

Another item that I cannot procure locally is further education, particularly not in the things I am interested. I am past the point of needing/ wanting/being able to pay for degree oriented credit classes. I need and want continuing educations classes that are not for credit nor lead to any further degrees. There is an extension branch of USU in the county seat, but they do not offer continuing education classes at this local extension. It is again a two plus hour drive, either to the town of Blanding to the south, where the USU extension does offer some continuing education classes, or to Salt lake City to the north to utilize the UofU continuing ed classes. This is where I am a fan of platforms like Coursera, They allow me to learn about subjects I am interested in, on my own time schedule, and for low or no cost to me, and connect me to people such as yourself who are also interested in these topics.

As to friends, many of mine date back to my high school days, dogs years ago. We have kept touch over the years, and as we have all scattered to the wind, the web is often the best way to keep in touch. Other friends i have made online, in these or other forums. As they are again scattered throughout many parts of the world, the web is the best way to keep in touch.

That being said, I do believe that if you are ignoring and neglecting your friends and family that are right there in the room with you in favor of what is on your computer or phone you probably do need to reevaluate your priorities some. So I do see it as a double edged sword.
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Hi @Halla ,
I take your point completely. It is a double edged sword and definitely has its uses. I would not like to go back to the dark ages where my world existed only as far as I could walk or see. As a psychotherapist dealing in mental health what comes to the fore is that the self regulation which is necessary for anything in life gets sidelined. We come to the border of being addicted and that has its own complications.
On may occasions it has come to light that the individual wants to be outgoing, a party animal, being more gregarious, have more "friends" and generally be seen as an extrovert (though that is in no way a requirement for leading a very fulfilling and satisfying life). When the individual "perceives" that he/she is not getting what they "think" they need then they land up going into a cocoon and that has behavioral issues.
My worry only is that a method needs to be found where no addiction happens and self regulation ensures that the double edged sword is used in the manner it is designed to be used.