Peer group and gadgets – Overcoming Peer pressure, gadget addiction and suicidal tendencies.
Ashok’s affluent classmates were glued to their mobile gadgets and that deprivation of not having a similar smart phone drove Ashok to the verge of suicide. Ashok aged 16, is a high school student in Tamil Nadu; he felt left out, lonely and rejected as he saw his friends flash their latest mobile phones defying school rules that did not allow hand phones in school.
Ashok knew his family could not afford those expensive gadgets, but he pestered his parents who got him a basic smart phone. Ashok initially objected to it, but eventually began to use it.
However, his friends made fun of him, which bothered Ashok to demand a high-end phone from his parents. When they refused to meet his demand, he could not accept it.
Ashok in anger argued and started to behave in unhealthy ways towards his parents. There were constant fights at home, and one day after a major conflict on this issue, Ashok locked himself in his room to commit suicide. Before the situation could become fatal, his parents got the medical attention that saved him.
They were recommended to take Ashok for counselling, which eventually helped him to come out of peer pressure, attitudinal issues, and to build healthy relationship with his parents. Ashok’s life goals changed him for better.
Causes of Gadget addictions:
- Peer pressure
- Status quo – to feel belonged
- The fear of being left out
How it affects?
- Craving to update the gadgets
- Unhealthy relationship
- Ask yourself why you want what you want?
- Don’t let gadgets be the basis for friendship?
- Build friendship among those who accept you for who you are
- Don’t let others define your wants
- Be considerate to your parents financial situation
- Have healthy conversations with parents.
- Focus on sports or hobbies that will keep you away from gadget cravings.
Indian Teen Story
Indian Teen Story
Gaming gadgets became a suitable partner for Anand to fill the void of loneliness as his parents did not allow him to socialise with other kids. They were both workaholics, initially they got a caretaker to look after their son when he was small.
Later they replaced the caretaker with gaming gadgets; constantly getting him new games as a surprise to keep him occupied. Anand grew up with every new version of virtual games leading to different play station games.
At 16, Anand showed symptoms of visual deterioration and spinal pain; he was so much in love with the characters of the virtual world as he was eager to move to new levels in the game. He did not do well in school.
When the hour came for him to make progression from school to college, he could not decide, and things fell apart. He kept himself locked up in the room and stopped talking to his parents and got stuck to his games. He grew violent when his parents asked for him to take a decision. He was referred to a counsellor for behavioural modifications, after three sessions, he responded. The counsellor is helping him to set goals and list his priorities.
Some causes of Gadget Addiction:
- Unhealthy parenting – when no one is there to have a check on the child.
- When there is lack of managing time between studies and entertainment.
Some effects of Gadget Addiction:
- Isolation and withdrawal from social activities.
- Decline in health and hygiene.
- Complex relationship.
- Difficult to set goals for life
- Set up a time managing table and specify a time limit for gaming.
- Have short time goals and accomplish it.
- Add variety of new activities to overcome boredom.
Help Them Before Its Too Late
Help Them Before Its Too Late
A child who could not live without mobile phone was referred to me for counseling as the general physician found out the underlying causefor the self-inflicted wound of the child. Before I began the session with the boy, I had a separate session with his parents.
Parents admitted that they never pushed him to go and play, as they thought this will keep him away from bad company. They don’t spend time with their child due to their professional responsibilities. To keep him occupied they introduced him to games and videos on mobile phone. Parents noticed some symptoms of the child's withdrawal nature,temper tantrums and eye sight deterioration. After noticing their son’s behavioural changes, they started to restrict mobile phone usage, and the child started reacting back, and the final one was injuring himself.
When I started the session with the child, he was absolutely in silence. However, when started talking about relationships and mobiles, he started having a conversation. Now after few sessions, he has been given space to explore hobbies and even some sports. I have told the parents to have gadget-free time and have dinner together or do some activities together.
Factors leading to gadget addictions:
- unhealthy balance between work and family.
- Not letting the child socialize
How gadget addiction affects a child?
- Not able to handle emotions
- Withdrawing from reality
- Temper tantrums
- Self injury to seek attention
- Have a good balance between work and family.
- Have gadget-free time everyday.
- Do some activity as family, which will build relationship.