A guest lecture on a most common present day malady – ‘Addiction to Gadgets’

While the prediction that a day would come when machines would rule man may be a figment of imagination fuelled by popular science fiction of the Spielberg type, what is very real and alarming is that machines have indeed come to rule and dominate man’s ‘Time’– a grim precursor to dominating him??

The Elite School of Optometry (ESO) the academic arm of Sankara Nethralaya organized a guest lecture to address this most common and growing malady of the present times ‘Addiction to Gadgets’ by Dr. M.Vasuki Mathivanan, city’s leading counseling psychologist on the 22nd of February 2017. Welcoming the speaker and the audience Dr. Anuradha Narayanan, Lecturer, ESO gave a lively start to the proceeding with her remark that she had deliberately placed her hand phone back in her work station, in keeping with the spirit of the day’s talk on staying away or being independent of gadgets and would be relying on her memory to introduce the guest speaker, her credentials and achievements, the fact that she did as good a job as one would do if one were reading off from a smart phone/palm top screen rang an optimistic note to the day’s talk exhorting the audience to avoid the dependence on gizmos.

Speaking on the occasion the leading counseling psychologist cautioned that while usage of modern devices is inevitable in a fast paced world, one should know to distinguish the difference between using and abusing gadgets. Highlighting that excessive preoccupation with gadgets like the mobile phone, computer or the TV could impair a child’s cognitive powers, she advised parents to observe if their children exhibited traits like being withdrawn from friends, uncomfortable in face to face interactions, staying in their room when visitors drop in at home etc, as these were indications of addiction to gadgets. She observed that a good way to keep the children away from such addiction would be by setting a good example wherein elders at home do not spend long hours with gadgets, but read a book, engage in conversation etc, playing an outdoor/indoor game would be a great way to wean oneself away from gadgets she added. Dr Vasuki exhorted the audience to subject themselves to a an impartial and objective self assessment to ascertain if they were already addicted to gadgets or in the way to becoming addicts, by asking themselves

  1. Do I feel irritable if my favourite gadget is missing/not functioning
  2. Do I feel upset if there is no response to an online post I made in a social media platform
  3. Do I feel bored or lost in the absence of technology
  4. Do I often suffer from pain or discomfort in the back/spine

The renowned psychologist cautioned the audience that excessive preoccupation with electronic gadgets could result in ‘social jetlag’ and made an earnest appeal to them to avoid upsetting the ‘Circadian Rhythm’ or natural sleep cycles and not to disturb one’s biological clock except in the most rare and unavoidable occasions as irregular sleeping schedules could be harmful to the body.

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