September 2022 | Jesus, the Door

Cyber Mania

Cyber Mania

Bro. Stanly John

Today, man nests into a cyber-field and considers himself free to do anything to anyone anyhow. From posing and taking close-up pictures ( selfies )

from his father’s death bed to exposing his own privacy, who may I ask would stand guard to our generation?

Unfortunately, we see that the ones who are supposed to control or eradicate this virus often become victim, which in this case, ironically outnumbers the number of wounded inmates. Parents who lack knowledge and use of the computer and internet facility become the battered play guns for their children. Knowingly or unknowingly, they,in the interest of their children’s education, fail to realize that their little ones ultimately make their beds in a virtual world of cheating and being cheated on.

Not so long ago did our mornings begin with prayer, bible meditation followed by a fresh brewed cup of coffee. Thereafter, a stroll towards the porch, reaching out to the partially folded newspaper, the eye takes a quick glimpse of the morning headlines and affairs. Although some of the updates were disturbing, there were no cyber-crimes or victims being reported as of today.  As per world ranking, 40% of the world’s population are linked to the internet while in the year 1995 it was only 1%. For better or for worse, India will put behind the USA ranking 2nd place in the usage for the internet.

We see that parents today avail their children with mobile phones, tablets, laptops and other electronic gadgets to “keep a close connection” with them. This to some extend is beneficial but it becomes the responsibility of the parent to control and limit its use. Facebook and Whatsapp have forced its way to the lives of many in our surroundings. People who lack knowledge and wisdom to handle the internet fall prey to these cyber crooks. Age being no barrier, our young adults have emerged as cyber criminals with their numbers increasing day by day. Fearfully said, as per the National Crime Bureau, our state of Kerala is not far behind as per figures quoting cyber-crimes.

Beyond doubt, Facebook has emerged as the leader in all social media apps. For every virtuous rabbit on the countryside and for every sly fox of the forest, a Facebook account is a must have. Even before getting hold of ones passport, ration card, driving license, an account on social media has become a priority for the children and tactlessly, parents play a key role in providing the same. Social media friends are not everyone’s cup of tea but the friendships that blossomed have secretly housed its way into the private life and affairs of one’s time and they are hardly aware of it. Concealed online affiliations have notoriously attacked family relationships. Whole sale dealers have emerged in the online market selling false impersonations of true love and have become a curse to the society. Once targeted, these eagles do all that they can to keep their prey clutched in their hands painlessly slaying them and these victims sometimes don’t even have the slightest indication as how big of a pit they have fallen into. As time and tide passes, these friendships bounds with words smooched in ink and soothing to the ear becomes bondage in return.

One of the explicit rules of thumb followed in a husband-wife relationship, is NOT to check each other’s mobile phones. Such bedroom rules get imposed when ones character is highly influenced by the tips and tricks of the cyber world.

Astonishingly, cyber mania victims vary more in number than drug addicts and the cyber de-addiction centers are very few. There are certain organizations that run internet de-addiction centers, one such being “Udaya Foundation”. They were the first center to place its beginning in India (NewDelhi), who took their first steps to help Internet addicted victims. As the internet facility can be availed at a low cost, this has become one of the reasons for the increase in cyber mania.

Another dangerous implant of internet addiction is cyber-sex. Without any prologue it’s clearly understood by the reader how this impacts the victim resulting in bitter consequences. Frequent use of this clearly will create vents and dents in family relationships that may not be amended.

As the great Albert Einstein once quoted, “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”Here the day that Einstein feared may have finally arrived. Internet addiction Disorder (IAD) was originally proposed as a disorder by Ivan Goldberg, in 1995. But the 90’s research didn’t catch much of a limelight as expected and was treated as a satirical hoax. After two decades of terrorism in the internet era, the convincing truth is far from being overlooked.Although few counseling centers have come forth, fatefully, researchers themselves are compelled to use search engines such as “Google” to assist them with their investigation.

Dr. Kimberly Young, is a Psychologist and renowned expert on “Cyber Psychology and Behavior”. She is also a member of “The Centre for Online Addiction”. According to Dr. Kimberly B. Young, there are five types of internet addiction:

1. Cyber sexual addiction (addicted to cyber porn or adult chat rooms)

2. Cyber relationship addiction (cyber affairs or using online relationships to replace real life friends and family)

3. Net compulsions (obsessive online gambling or shopping)

4. Information overload (compulsive database searches)

5. Computer addiction (obsessive game playing)

The information we gather from the internet effortlessly solves our issues and queries and do help us with our education and investigation. But if a sensible and stringent control is not implemented in our homes, churches or schools, we will be solely accountable for the flames that set ablaze our dreams and hopes. For what is the significance of life once shattered, what good does it bring if law and order are tagged along? Moral emotions should be controlled intellectually and realistically. If unhealthy man-woman relationships that arise from fallacious words and confrontations from cyber discussions are not stepped down on, then truthfully we will have to bear witness to more internet crimes and acts of cyber terrorism.

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