To some extent, everyone who owns a smartphone or Internet-enabled device suffers some degree of tech addiction. It’s normative for people who forget their smartphones at home or in the office to suffer anxiety and angst. Designed to be utilitarian, most digital gizmos and gadgets have become connectivity and entertainment media, often absorbing people to the point of obsession. Unsurprisingly, Gen Z children (born in the 21st century) who are digital natives, are more vulnerable to a new and fast-spreading lifestyle disease: tech addiction
Under the broad umbrella of tech dependence, gaming addiction i.e, obsessive playing of video games on gaming consoles/smartphone/computer/tablets etc is generating panic in middle class households with children, and adolescents in particular, becoming increasingly dazzled by the make-believe virtual world of gaming designed by multi-billion dollar IT companies. In its recently released 11th edition of International Classification of Diseases, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified ‘gaming disorder’ as a new mental health condition. According to the WHO, gaming disorder leads to significant mental stress and impairment of personal, family and social bonds and causes “disturbed sleep patterns, diet problems, and decline in physical activity”.
In this month’s cover story, we turn the spotlight on this digital disorder to which young children and teenagers are becoming increasingly susceptible. The story provides useful information on the warning signs, diagnoses and treatment of children’s gaming addiction and also offers expert advice on how parents can prevent digital play/entertainment from transforming into addiction. The consensus of expert opinion is that the onus is on parents to restrict children’s gaming time from early age and encourage them to develop hobbies, play sports and indulge in other non-tech activities to lead healthy and balanced lives.
In this issue of ParentsWorld, we also present selected ratings and rankings of the annual EducationWorld India School Rankings 2018-19 survey. EducationWorld (an affiliate of ParentsWorld) conducted the survey in association with the highly-reputed Delhi-based market research and opinion polls company Centre for Forecasting and Research Pvt. Ltd (C fore) to rate the country’s most well-known primary-secondaries in 14 categories — day boys, girls, co-ed and day-cum-boarding; legacy co-ed, boys and girls boarding, and international day, day-cum-boarding, and residential schools. We believe these league tables will enable young parents to choose the most aptitudinally suitable schools for their children to give them a good start in life. To access the complete league tables, visit www.educationworld.in.