A Round Table was held at Bangalore in the FKCCI hall in K G Road, this Sunday, the 20th August 2017 to discuss the “Responsibilities of Parents” in addressing the Blue Whale Challenge issue in which youngsters are committing suicides across the world.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr K.Ravi, President of FKCCI highlighted the increased digitization in India leading to an urgent need for making users understand the problems arising due to not being aware of technology aspects. He urged Parents to spend more time with their children so that they can understand the external influences that drive Children to adopt to a high risk life style. Dr Shivanand Naik, a Child Psychologist who specializes in Graphology and hand writing analysis discussed the various behavioural traits that provide early indications of Children getting addicted to a game such as Blue Whale Challenge.
The undersigned highlighted the effects of Internet Addiction behind the Blue Whale Challenge and said that Internet is a powerful audio visual medium that can be used by psychopaths as in evidenced in the case of Blue Whale Game to brainwash and hypnotize the children. He said that the technique can also be used for stealing financial information of the parents leading to financial crimes.
As regards the means of monitoring the Children’s internet habits, the undersigned cautioned that the use of spywares may lead to a total trust breakdown with children. He also indicated that Children may learn to bypass the software and further that spywares may themselves be used by hackers as tools to take over the user’s computers.
The undersigned emphasized that Parents role is important in identifying the “Internet Addiction” of their children but they need to then take a pause and check if they are themselves setting a proper role model for their children and if not first correct themselves. He said that more than the Parents, Schools are better placed to take corrective action and they should not push the responsibility only to the parents.
Naavi suggested three distinct measures for Schools to follow namely
a) Create Awareness about the dangers of Internet addiction and measures of Internet addiction through various activities including essay competitions, drawing competitions etc
b) Use Whistleblowing techniques to get information about Blue Whale Challenge game usage of any students from the peers.
c) Appoint “Internet Counselors” who are expert Psychologists with an understanding of Internet who can be approached by students.
Naavi also urged NGOs to set up anonymous online counselling and work with Schools to provide the required expert assistance.
Mr Phanindra of clue4evidence who had organized the program in public interest highlighted some of the legal issues involved in curbing the menace of addictive games like the Blue Whale. Mrs Shanti Iyer, an educationist indicated the measures that Schools can take in this regard and also urged parents to cooperate with the administration of schools in implementing the suggestions provided by the schools whenever they observe and report about behavioural disturbances of their children.
The round Table gave an opportunity to flag some of the major issues surrounding the Blue Whale problem and hopefully there will be more such interactions with the experts with Schools and Parents to spread awareness and mitigate the risk posed by the Blue Whale challenge game to the society.