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Addiction is the “disease of despair,” writes the author. Identifying the underlying or root causes, whether it be the lack of autonomy, the lack of real-life “validation,” the lack of meaning, etc. is critical for any long-term fix.
Some points to consider from this doctor:
- Fewer than 5% of kids get the physical exercise they should every day (I presume 60 minutes is the baseline or minimum). This is quite appalling.
- Sedentary lifestyles are strongly linked to anxiety, obesity, and depression. It’s much easier to change bad habits at a younger age.
- The anticipation of receiving a new text message or notification, as opposed to the text message or notification itself, is what drives “screen addiction.”
This chameleon-like nature of Internet media is the “hook” that keeps the cycle going.
The “SHUT” Clinic is one of many “rehab” centers for tech addicts in India, and it seems as though the 13 to 17 year old demographic is Mr. Manoj’s most common customer demographic. Mr. Manoj makes it clear what he believes the ideal solution process is:
We zeroed down on three issues here – the need for recognition that the child was not getting from his parents; the need for approval and validation; and the lack of offline interaction.
The key idea here is that many people will look for “support” online because such support is sorely lacking within their offline networks. This is, of course, much easier than done. “Recovery” is by no means a quick or immediate process.