Digital detox: Desperate necessity of the moment!

Roy Poonawala
Saturday, 11 August 2018

People spend an estimated 90 minutes a day on social media and 85 pc of them use smartphones to do this

The British Broadcasting Corporation did a news story about how some companies are now launching mobile applications, which help consumers to control and restrict the use of mobile phones! The applications have become very popular and, across continents, they are getting a huge response from the consumers indicating how digital detox is now the need of the hour for crores of people.

It is now estimated that people spend close to 90 minutes a day on social media and over 85 per cent of the users are seen doing this through their smartphones. The explosion of data availability in countries like India and China means that Internet connectivity is not a worry in terms of costs. People are just glued to their mobile phone screens for hours together and this leads to addiction and medical problems.

In research done by the BBC, it became clear that among respondents below the age of 30, the frequency of looking at one’s mobile phone was over five times every hour while among respondents about the age of 40, the frequency dropped to once every hour. There was a clear link to young people looking at the mobile phones for hours together and developing first eyesight related problems and later spondylitis or other ailments, which has established that posture and eyesight concentration was causing major problems.

Researchers have now reached a stage where there is also a direct connection being established between too much use of mobile phones and drop in attention span as well as anxiety related problems seen in young and middle-aged users.

Now, some digital companies have taken the lead in developing apps, which block the mobile after certain limited use and the user is forced to look at an object far away so as to give some relief to the user’s eyesight.

In India, the use of mobile phones beyond prescribed limits and watching the smart screens for over 3 hours a day is a new trend, which has arrived with the availability of cheap data. The ill effects of excessive use of mobile phones will be seen in urban and rural areas in the coming years, according to experts.  

The hope is that Indian youngsters learn the lessons from the experiences seen in the west and do not go overboard with smart mobile data consumption just because it is cheap. The government must take some lead in all this and embark on an awareness campaign so that people can be educated about the dangers of overkill. 

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