An Ocean of Apps and The Blue Whale

The easy and economically affordable access to internet has made each one of us very vulnerable. People from all age groups are complete slaves to their mobile, laptop or desktop screen. Gradually we are enjoying living in the virtual reality. Amongst all, the most volatile age group, i.e., 12-21 are the worst affected. Of all the addictions, gaming has been in the top rank creating havoc in teenage life. The outcome is right in front of our eyes in the form of deadly game “Blue Whale Challenge” which has taken many innocent teenage lives across the globe. The teenagers are hooked to internet gaming world and cannot withdraw themselves even if they wish to.

Teenage, the transit of adolescence to adulthood, brings with it many struggles. Their brain goes through complete rewiring and new neurons are developed. At this age, logic, decision, reason and will are at very fragile state which causes psychological issues like; lack of identity, self image, issues of attention, acknowledgment and acceptance from family and peer groups.

Gaming world plays with this fragile mind. It creates a new world for them where one chooses his image, looks, appearance, behaviour and activities. An alternative life, ego and reality are created where there are endless possibilities. They prove their potentials to their peer groups by taking daring challenges, demanded, in the gaming portal and focuses on winning them. They begin to escape from the reality and de-focus from things that matters. Biologically, the high level of dopamine further contributes to the problem. The dopamine plays a major role in reward-motivated behaviour. The games generate a feeling of pleasure and the rewards in form of positive sentences and freebies ensure the repeat action of the gamer. Thus children fall prey to virtual gaming trap and become Addicts.

The founders of Neuro-linguistic Programming (Bandler and Grinder) termed any kind of addiction as sequential incongruity. The addict accesses that part of their neurology that wants to use the addictive substance, and then part that doesn’t want to use it, in an ongoing sequence. Every time they face this battle where one part of a person wants them to stop but, a more powerful part wants them not to stop. This powerful part is our unconscious or subconscious mind. It stores all the experiences and regulates our habits, patterns and addiction.

NLP has proved itself as one of the most potent tools that help to communicate with the unconscious mind and bring necessary behavioural changes. The techniques like mapping across mind, anchoring, working with sub modalities and using all the five senses: Representational system, (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) predominantly, to create mental movie that anchors a desired personal image in one’s mind, addiction can be overcome easily. Apart from this, the parents too need to take responsibility of their children. Spending undivided and quality time with them makes them feel loved and wanted. Being in Regular non judgmental communication, respecting their opinion, appreciating their small achievements, rewarding methods and involving them in real life situations will greatly help the children in coming back to the real world.

The article is written by Arrpita Banerjee.

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