World Mental Health Day: ‘Teenagers feel free to seek advice from strangers on Internet than their families’

The venue was full with students and teachers. Later, an open house query session was also held when many students put their doubts and questions over cyber crime and the Blue Whale game.

Chandigarh | Published:October 11, 2017 5:44 am
world mental health news, blue whale news, chandigarh news, indian express news PU Professor Jitender Mohan at Tagore Theater in Sector 18, Chandigarh, Tuesday. Sahil Walia

Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CCPCR) on Tuesday organised a special workshop on Blue- Whale Challenge and other technology epidemic for school students at Tagore Theater in Sector 18, Chandigarh. The workshop was attended by hundreds of students from schools across the city. “Over the years, our society has seen a change in its structure. There was a time when the Internet was not fast and families used to stay together. That’s when people used to talk to each other about their problems. Today, we have fast Internet and communication services, but the tendency to communicate has gone down.” said Harjinder Kaur, Chairperson of CCPCR.

“In buses, cars , parks, and restaurants, we witness how people are always busy with their smart phones. Because of nuclear family trends, parent-child conversations have also gone down. Such characteristics tend to push people into the virtual world of the Internet and social networking sites,” she said.

Young children and teenagers feel free to seek advice from the Internet instead of their elders.

They feel it’s easier to express and share their feelings with unknown people in a virtual world. Thus, they are fooled by fake people over networking sites or they fall for traps like the Blue Whale challenge.

This seminar was organised in association with the department of education in Chandigarh.

On this occasion, Dr Rashmi Yadav, DSP of Chandigarh, who also looks after cyber crime and IT, told students about social networking sites like Facebook , WhatsApp that read and recorded users’ personal information like call logs , messages etc. She highlighted the risk of leaking personal information like contact numbers or e-mail IDs when privacy restriction has not been put.

“There is no thrill in this rotten game. If they ask you to wake up at 4:20 am and keep standing for one hour , what thrill is in it? They are sadist people seeking to fool and depress young people. Blue Whale is not a new concept. Such games were already popular but in different names. The makers of such contents are ill-minded. They derive pleasure from harming others. Communication gap with parents is also responsible for such games going wrong.

She told the students that there are a number of scammers on social networking sites who may try to steal or use users’ personal information. This information can be used for potential crimes like ID theft, fraud or other cyber crimes. She advised students not to install or browse any unnecessary contents on the Internet.

Again taking an example of the Blue Whale game, she explained how the curator virtually contacts the players and threatens them to harm or kill their families. Emotionally or in fear, teenagers find no ways but to follow the orders and kill oneself. She says if anyone gets in trouble, talk to your parents first and seek help of the police near your area. Main target of these suicidal games are teenagers who are not confident enough to share everything with their elders.

Jitendra Mohan , Professor Emeritus , Department of Psychology in Panjab University emphasised that students should adopt a healthy lifestyle — adopting good habits and exercising.

The venue was full with students and teachers. Later, an open house query session was also held when many students put their doubts and questions over cyber crime and the Blue Whale game.

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