Millennium Post

Challenging life

Challenging life
Social Media, while bringing hundreds into proximity of one another, has also had the most devastating consequences across populations. The furore of fake news is one such backlash, evident in the recent cases of lynching and mob aggression across the country. The past week witnessed yet another horror; the Blue Whale Challenge, originating from Russia, finally penetrated its roots into the sub-continent claiming the life of a 14-year old boy from Mumbai—whose naivety when put to test, did not survive the unfortunate consequences of excessive social media use. The world of virtual reality has grasped on to our lives to the point where a day without the internet is inapproximable for most. Today's youngsters carry smart phones from childhood days when their minds are inadequately evolved to rationally differentiate right from wrong, and safe from danger. While the problem of ungoverned internet usage looms large in today's technologically revolutionised era, the Blue Whale Challenge exposes other, more dangerous facets of the human mind. Created by a Psychology student in Russia, the game sets forth tasks that must be completed by the players, with adequate proof. These tasks spanning across 50-days ultimately lead to the final challenge, which is to commit suicide. While death is horrific, the challenges preceding the ultimatum are gory in their own execution. Involving critical infliction of self-harm—the creator of the task says his aim was to segregate individuals who prove to be useless, with the aim of 'cleansing' the society of those whose existence garnered little worth. The mindset of the creator by itself would seem ridiculous to most; with 16 deaths in Russia between 2015 and 2016, the creator who was ultimately arrested, gradually confessed to his intentions of provoking such a mind-numbing game. The second surprising aspect is the readiness with which teenagers have taken to this absurd trend, without rationalising the consequences of what most people would term as outright stupidity. Irrespective of its apparent stupidity, this requires more discourse on how supervision must be evolved to complement the demands of a growingly dangerous society.
Along with supervision, what is also necessary is to understand the psychology of growing children. While cell phones and tablets are used by occupied parents as the easy way-out to placate demands of wailing children, the need of the hour is to disconnect ourselves from the colourful world of virtual reality and stead our feet in the mundane needs of everyday life—beginning from the sanctity of the home. Mental health concerns, today, cause widespread, rampant distress. Isolation, loneliness, anxiety, and a general sense of unfulfillment are driving many down the unholy path of sacrificing their lives. As our society grows, its complexities multiply, and our individual capacity to adapt diminishes. While the Blue Whale Challenge is a one-off instance where these agonies have manifested themselves, the real trouble of an incomprehensible sense of self-assassination still remains unattended. The cause still has its roots dug deep in our society. There will be many more Blue Whale challenges to allure the needy towards the devil; home, thus, must be aggressively protected. Protected, not to contain desires or clip wings of hope—but caressed with the most invaluable gift in today's time—precious time itself.

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