‘Loneliness may become the next biggest public health issue’

Amrita Prasad
Sunday, 18 February 2018

Dr Aditi Govitrikar, model and actor, tells us why she goes on a digital detox for 10 days in a year

Our lives have become so technology-driven that we can’t think of staying away from our smartphones and going off the social media radar, even for a short period. Often excessive and continuous use of technology and internet can have an adverse effect on our body, mind and overall well-being. Therefore, it is advisable that one must take a break from social media and unplug once in a while for mental peace and solace. Psychologist Aditi Govitrikar known for films like 16 December, Bheja Fry 2, De Dana Dan, believes in going for a digital detox once a year. Here she tells us the reasons:

When and how do you go on digital detox?
As a vipasna and yoga practitioner, I lead a daily mindful life. I belong to one of the last generation of people that grew up with human connection before mobile phones and computers entered our private space. You may recall I put out 10 Yoga DVD series back in year 2002 before the trend was picked up by others. India has much to teach others about digital detox.

Why is it important for you to go offline at some intervals?
We are social creatures and require human connection that cannot be substituted by technology such as physical touch, body language etc. Technology has enabled us to connect with millions. Yet we are more disconnected than all our ancestors put together. Modern living with technology is a catalyst to an eminent loneliness epidemic. Loneliness may become the next biggest public health issue on par with obesity and substance abuse, albeit for our mental health.

What is your experience of staying away of social media?
As a media professional, technology directly contributes to my success. Therefore I value it very much. But I also devote much time to my friends and family through face to face meetings or phone calls.

Do you think it’s important for everyone to do that?
As a psychologist and mental health counsellor, I remain a proponent of restrained use of digital devices. We must remain vigilant that any medium’s content matters less than the medium itself in influencing how we think and act. Excess usage changes who we are, as individuals and as a society impacting our nervous system itself.

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