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Recent virtual relationships, interactions shaped children's minds differently

By Harasankar Adhikari

The world of children has been changed. Due to the concurrent pandemic, both the micro and macro worlds get a new shape and a new definition. It teaches a child to restrict one’s relationships within the family and outside, even after there is less threat of coronavirus infection in a new normal situation. Learning and maturation in childhood are virtually controlled and managed. It was/is fully friendless and peerless without school (an institution for children's psycho-social, moral, and educational development along with cultural attainment). They are more comfortable with games on their handset (cell phone/smartphone) than games on the playground. The last two years were remarkably impacted by the childhood process. Education, games, and peer relations, etc. were home-based via an on-line system. A child used to eat, play, sleep, and dream with a cell phone/smartphone. They are very smart with their smartphones.
Their joy, sorrow, anger and happiness are all contained within this electronic device. Our leaders rightly called for a digital India. And the COVID-19 pandemic expedites their slogan of 'digital India'. As a result, they have learned the home dynamics, parental relationships, neighbourhood relations, and day-to-day functioning and role-relationships in their families since their childhood. They faced domestic violence. They were sometimes violent spectators. It has surprisingly categorised childhood into two categories: children with smartphones and those without.
School is the second home for a child. It plays the most important role in their socialisation process. But it was absent. Virtual or social media was the only source of interaction available, so its impacts were obviously adverse. Virtual relationships and interaction shape their minds differently. The digital world may be considered a new arena in human society. But it is not good for shaping healthy childhoods. On the other hand, children without smart phones are being pushed into a lost childhood because they are out of online education opportunities and they are deeply hungry. And ultimately, they become child workers.
Entry into the virtual world and the adult world increases their expectations, needs, and demands, which childhood does not permit. They are now virtually sensitised and are hyperactive on social media regardless of their age. Parents are hopeless about changing their children's attachment to their smartphones.
After the resume of educational institutions, they are unable to come out of the virtual world because schools are still preferring education (day-to-day home tasks, notices, and so forth) via social media. The teachers do not even alert the parents to monitor their use of smartphones. But how is it? They have no clear guidance. Their activeness in the virtual world has become a regular essential act. Restriction in virtual gauging is the cause of mental illness, quarrels with parents and other family members. A generational structure and mental conflict take place in an important place in the family. Senior members are not so much granted interference for their betterment.
This circumstance leads to a crisis in childhood, which means a crisis in future society. Non-activeness in the virtual world makes them irritating, arrogant and lonely. They cannot think beyond the virtual world. It makes them sexually hyperactive, physically obese, and mentally obsessed. Many social and cultural institutions in our society are in jeopardy. Creativity in childhood is disrupted. May our policymakers turn their heads to this matter?



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