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Danger ahead: Smartphones making teens sexually smart, but mentally disturbed

By Harasankar Adhikari 

We live in a digitally globalised society. Bombarded consumerism and imitation of foreign cultures and practises reshape our everyday lives. Life choices and lifestyles are the driving forces of modernity at present. People of almost all ages are within this realm and rhythm of consumerism for happiness.
Various studies reveal that teens are in crisis of mental ill-health and violent behaviour because of their dependence on materials and competition in their day-to-day lives, so far as result-oriented education (from primary to university) is concerned. They are separated, self-centred and they live in a truncated relationship in family and outside. Actually, they are out of scope for the benefits they desire. Parents try to console them by providing benefits like food, beverages, smartphones, etc. The use of smartphones has an impact on our daily lives, and it has become essential during the recent COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath. Virtual education and virtual relationships have become essentially prominent, even with family members and neighbours. How this smartphone affects their behaviour has been studied. The study revealed that teens were addicted to pornography for their sexual pleasure.
A study was deployed by me recently among the school students of Kolkata, aged 12–15 years old. A sample of 50 students (boys:girls = 1:1) from classes VII–X was interviewed through personal interaction. All of them had smartphones. They preferred to stay alone at home. This study found that about 82% of them enjoyed pornography regardless of their gender. They used to watch pornography for at least one hour every day, and they were addicted to masturbating 3–4 times daily. In school, they shared it with their classmates, and they used to interact via different social media, i.e., Instagram, Facebook, and so forth. It was their routine pleasure. Teens of senior age were addicted for more than 2 years. This study found that they were very familiar with popular porn sites and porn stars. They had their very own preferences and choices of porn stars. This pleasure pushed them to go through physical relations with their peer or friend of the opposite gender. Sometimes, they physically meet at school or any private place (private tuition). The girls were very active sexually, and they felt that there was no such pleasure as pornography. They did not feel it was bad or harmful. They shared that their classmates and friends were very active for this pleasure. They did not think of life without a smartphone. It had been observed from their interaction that they were under academic pressure to get high marks in their examination. They were tired of the competition and their parents' desire for high marks. According to them, pornography and sexual pleasure were their entertainment.
This result shows that the smartphone makes them sexually smart, but they are mentally disordered. It is dangerous for their future. Parents and seniors of each family, as well as school teachers, should be attentive to them, and they should be affectionate and friendly with their juniors. They should teach them about the use of smartphones and monitor their smartphone activity. Pressure and competition in their school life in relation to high marks or good academic performance are to be rethought. Parents, school teachers, and seniors should think about their mental health.



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