The incident of a Bal Bharati School student attacking his classmate with a cutter over posting pictures on a social networking site has raised concerns about the impact of social media on a childs psychology.
Speaking to Newsline,Aruna Broota,a retd professor of Delhi University and a practising clinical psychologist,said the case is a clear indication of parents not being able to give children space and time to express their problems. The school also failed to maintain discipline on its premises. What was the child doing with such a sharp-edged cutter? How did the parents not know what he was up to when he was sending threatening messages to his classmate? Parents nowadays do not have time for children. The child has no one to talk to and the anger and frustration keep building up inside them. They begin feeling insecure, she said.
Laptops and phones have become the new family members for children. They get aggressive the moment parents stop them from using these gadgets.The child feels more close to gadgets as they get all answers they need through them, Broota said.
Peer pressure too plays an important role. In order to show their friends that they are tech-savvy,children make wrong use of technology,said Dr Kiran Aggarwal,a paediatrician at Hindurao Hospital.
In this case,the boy who cropped the photo must have thought that he will become popular in his friends circle by showing them that he knew how to fiddle with technology, Dr Aggarwal said.
Schools should provide its students adequate psychological help. Each school should have at least 10 counsellors for children,she said.
Bal Bharati School Principal L V Sehgal said,We do talk to students about cyber safety. After this incident,we will take it up more actively. We will also conduct workshops on the proper etiquette for using social networking sites.