The Asian Coalition for Health Empowerment (ACHE) recently hosted a groundbreaking webinar titled ‘From Kids to Seniors: Decoding Digital Addiction’s Grip and Empowering Change.’
New Delhi, December 7, 2023: In the dynamic landscape of technology, experts illuminate the intricacies of our digital era. With a sharp focus on hidden health risks, these experts propose a revolutionary shift in smartphone culture. As we navigate the complexities of our interconnected world, these insights aim to empower individuals to make informed choices for a balanced and healthier digital lifestyle.
In pursuit of these objectives, the Asian Coalition for Health Empowerment (ACHE) recently hosted a groundbreaking webinar titled ‘From Kids to Seniors: Decoding Digital Addiction’s Grip and Empowering Change.’ The webinar brought together experts to shed light on the pervasive issue of digital addiction, its impact on various age groups, and strategies for empowering positive change. In the intricate web of public health challenges, digital addiction has emerged as a significant concern, and ACHE acknowledges the need for holistic solutions to combat addiction in all its forms.
Dr. Nimesh G. Desai, Senior Psychiatrist & Former Director, Institute of Human Behaviour & Allied Sciences (IHBAS), Delhi, deliberated on digital addiction, stating, “Every new technology is a double-edged sword. In the public health model, the triangle of host, agent, and environment is crucial. Market forces aim to capture attention, making it essential to balance positive and negative aspects of technology.”
Dr. Desai further highlighted, “The whole situation of technology addiction cannot be defeated entirely; instead, we should embrace the positive aspects. COVID-19 taught us the importance of technology in communication. Those prone to addiction should be considered, while the rest of society can benefit from technology.”
Delving into the psychological aspects of digital addiction, Dr. Puneet Jain, Clinical Psychologist, Vinayak Hospital, Noida, stated, “Most people turn to smartphones for entertainment, releasing dopamine for temporary happiness. Excessive smartphone use contributes to health issues like cervical problems, weakened eyesight, hearing impairment, and changes in blood chemistry.”
Addressing the impact on sleep, Dr. Jain further explains, “Smartphones affect sleep patterns; the dopamine release leads to a false sense of satisfaction, luring individuals into sleep. Additionally, the fear of judgment hinders face-to-face communication, pushing people towards one-way communication through smartphones.”
Both experts unanimously advocated for digital detoxification and proposed educational campaigns in schools to encourage responsible smartphone use.
Dr. Desai urged, “Teach children about the problems of excessive smartphone use, and parents should lead by example, using smartphones judiciously.”
Dr. Puneet Jain suggested, “Avoid using phones before sleep or during family time to prevent a disconnection from reality. Initiatives like keeping phones outside the house, as seen in Europe, encourage more meaningful interactions.”
The webinar concluded with a call to enjoy life with real interactions, urging individuals to embrace technology positively while maintaining a healthy balance.
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