DOCTORS AT the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) say they are finding a new trend among adolescents (in the age group of 13-19 years) visiting the institute’s child and adolescent clinic. Many of them are undergoing a change in behaviour after creating multiple accounts on Facebook and talking to unknown people for long.
“Nowadays, children operate under three to four identities and names on Facebook. These identities are not known to anyone but the child himself. Children, who come to our clinic, tell us they keep talking for long with different people whom they don’t know,” Dr Adarsh Kohli, a professor of clinical psychology at PGI’s Department of Psychiatry told Chandigarh Newsline. “Sometimes, the person at the other end is much older to him or again with a fake identity which becomes very dangerous,” he said.
PGI runs a child and adolescent clinic twice a week. Kohli says several such cases have come to the institute recently. “We have also found that in some of the cases at the clinic, the adolescents are members of secret groups, which incite them to do wrong things. These groups are closed groups and a third person is not able to get into the group or check the activities,” she said.
Why are children getting involved in such activities? “This happens apparently because of fear of parents and the impulse to get into unsanctioned activities under a false identity believing that it’s not me but somebody else did it. They behave differently under that different name with a sense of anonymity,” said Kohli.
Experts believe it is important for parents to keep tabs on their kids’ activities on mobiles and the content they are accessing on the Net. “Several parents are coming to us for advice on how to deal with such situations. The situation is serious because it leads to change in behaviour and other associated problems, including aggression. Parents should keep a close watch on their kids to avoid any problem,” cautioned Kohli.