grave concern

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Dec 2018 11:56:33

NOBODY will ever be able to tell what kind of tumult might be taking place in the tender heart of the seventeen-year-old girl who was reported to be playing a dangerous online game on her cellphone when she committed suicide in Nagpur. The family was shocked to find words “Cut here to exit” and some coded letters written on her arm with some sharp tool. So engrossed must she have got in the game that she might not have realised what she was doing. Many such cases have come to fore in recent times when young people fell prey to dangerous temptation to indulge in some absolutely undesirable games in which perhaps the last command is to end life. A boy in Mumbai, too, was reported to have ended his life after playing an online game called Blue Whale. It is time the larger society found an effective solution to this problem, failing which we may find ourselves losing many young lives due to the dangerous addiction. A few days ago, a teenage boy was also reported to have committed suicide because his mother snatched away his cellphone to which he had become addicted to a dangerous extent. This is one social danger which can only ill-afford to court. 

In the past few years, many such warnings have emerged in our society’s collective consciousness, but to little avail. The larger society has failed to curb the dangerous addiction to which countless youngsters have fallen prey in recent years. Let alone the youngsters whose ability to make proper choices and decide what is right or wrong or undesirable, elders, too, have been found to have become addicts to online games and numerous social media platforms in which sensible thinking is perhaps the first casualty. Countless families have found their elders and youngsters alike getting addicted to online gaming that takes not just hours every but also logical thinking.

This is one nonsense, therefore, that we must combat in total seriousness. This is one social evil we must not just resist but also defeat effectively. Of course, it is not easy to combat the menace effectively, thanks to the satanic speed with which undesirable activities are being made possible due to advances in technology. Young people take to advanced technology very quickly and forget their sense of balance and self-control.

One way to fight is to create a massive social awareness against the hidden dangers of an addiction to technology. But the other way is to impose restrictions on what sort of games must be made available to users of the cellphone technology, especially the younger ones whose sense of proportion often gets tossed out of the window. There must be official restrictions and regulations to check senseless gaming opportunities by way of technology. There must also be stern restrictions on online pornographic sites to be available on cellphones and computers. This is the fundamental responsibility of the lawmakers.

The recent case of how the Chinese authorities moved swiftly to ban a scientist who had claimed to have edited human gene, offers a good example of what kind of alertness the larger human society needs to check unbridled use of technology in any sphere. Such swiftness is needed to curb immoral forays of human individuals into the dark zones of technology on an urgent basis. If this is not done with a great sense of urgency, the human society will see its own degradation in an untold manner in the next few decades.

This is one danger about which we must make ourselves aware and arrange for an effective combat-readiness on the moral plane. We cannot allow ourselves to be victims of abuse of technology by unthinking minds that have received no sanskaar (moral grooming) during their formative years. If we fail to realise this danger today, we may have no proper tomorrow.