A note to the young children about social media

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Hello everyone. Do you remember when you joined social media? I joined Facebook in the year 2012 when I was in class 6. Sometimes after school I used to login for just a few minutes and talk with my friends. At that time everything was very simple. Gradually things became more and more technologically advanced and we have so much to do. Now we have the world in our hands. During our schooldays having internet and a phone was not a necessity but today a child needs internet to carry out his school works. Really, how things have changed over the years! Internet and social media are great platforms to learn but there are a few things which are not good about it and young children are quite vulnerable towards those. In this post I want to discuss about such problems so that the young generation can always be safe and make good use of social media.

Firstly, I want to point out the fact that nowadays there is no lack of social media influencers. It is natural for young people to copy them when they see them. Also, they are captivated towards their lifestyle which appears to be very attractive and glamourous. But we should understand that everything that we see is not true. Such teens might also suffer from inferiority complex or even superiority complex if they start to compare them with others. Also, they may have increased feelings of depression, anxiety and poor body image. People need followers and for that they try to showcase the perfect life, perfect body and how fascinating and adventurous their life is. And if they are getting influenced by wrong personalities it will create a negative environment around them which is not good for the young minds. So, it is important that we follow the right people who can teach us good things, spread positivity and affect our lives in a good way.

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Secondly, in social media people from all over the world can connect with us and interact with us. We mostly follow and become friends with our family and people we know from school, college etc. But we often encounter unknown person and sometimes we accept to be their friends. Not all such unknown friendships are good and they can turn into a nightmare for us. Young girls are frequent targets of such people with malicious intentions since it is easier to lure them due to their innocence. Such people might harass them, demand money, share offensive content, threatening messages etc. all of which comes under cyber bullying. There is an increased tendency of such teens to drift apart from their family and friends and may start to feel lonely in the outside world. There will always be a section of people who are carrying out such activities and it is very important for us to be in a safe friend circle, not only in social media but also in our life.

Increased use of social media may lead to decreased creativity, can make us miserable, and affect our mental health. FOMO i.e. fear of missing out specially seen in teens may lead to more and more use of social media to stay updated and thus the vicious cycle will continue. All these will finally lead to a decline in the academic performance as they will not be able to concentrate in the books.

While there are lots of negative points on how social media is bad there are equal number of positive ones too. It helps us to learn new things, any information we want is available in seconds and in this digital age we cannot afford to lag behind. Connecting with friends from all over the world creates new learning opportunities too. So, it comes down to a simple point that is, it depends on us how we use it and how we allow social media to affect our life. Young children should be guided by their adults about how to be away from the negative side of it. Teenagers should always find the learning opportunities and only take social media as a recreational tool and not let it affect their mental health. Since in this age of digitalization it is difficult to be away from social media the only way is to be aware of our activities and always ensure our safety.

As I already said I have been using social media from a long time, I face such problems every now and then. Therefore, I decided to discuss it with everyone. I hope this will help you in some way. Thank you for reading. 

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The power of encouragement

Positive affirmations – 03

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Hello everyone. I am writing this after a long break. I was unable to come up with any new ideas. So, I thought of writing one more positive affirmation.

Since this coronavirus pandemic started, we are confined to our homes. Schools and colleges are shut since March and we are unable to go out. Amidst online classes, work etc people have found out many new activities to do and also give time to their hobbies. Every now and then we find our friends have started an art and craft account, YouTube channel, food account, blogs and what not. But what is our role in it? Can we help them?

I think we have a major role in supporting others. Whenever someone tells us about doing something they love or starting something new we should always encourage them. This is applicable in everything. A few words of encouragement can do wonders. Also, we can give them our views on how they can improve and also rectify their mistakes, thus helping them to grow. Once we support and encourage them, they get motivated to work hard. It doesn’t matter whether they are doing very good in it or it is perfect, just give them a compliment, encourage them and see how it will build confidence in them. It will only take a few minutes to convey some words of appreciation but the effect of it will last long on that person. They will always remember that we were with them and we encouraged them. There will be a lot of people who will criticize us and also a lot of people to congratulate us on our success. But what matters the most are the words of encouragement that can empower us to face the obstacles in our journey and not lose hope.

So, don’t forget to spread some positivity whenever you can. We always rise by lifting others. Let’s root for each other and watch each other grow. Thank you.

A foxhole in the mind

Positive affirmations – 02

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What do you do when you face a difficult situation? For example, when you are angry, when you feel devastated, or when you are at your most vulnerable self. Often in these situations we are very prone to take wrong decisions and do things which we might not have done if we were in a good state of mind. Not only adults but children too display extreme anger or frustration, like temper tantrums. One of the management techniques of such outbursts in children is called time out. Here the parent asks the child to be alone in a safe and quiet place for some time till such behavior subsides. It is considered to be useful. So, for adults too we should try to practice this. But how?

We should build a foxhole in our mind. A foxhole is a hole dug for a soldier to lie or sit for protection from the enemy army during a war. To build a foxhole in our mind means that in tough situations when we are distressed, we should try to spend some time alone in that space we have created inside our mind. It will help us to calm down and rebuild our morale. Also, it will enable us to take right decisions and communicate effectively because when we are not emotionally stable we tend to make wrong decisions and hurt people with our words. Such negative outcomes can be avoided with this simple trick. Those few moments will help us to introspect and analyze why such a situation took place, what was our role in it, how we should react to it, and how we can solve it successfully. I read about this in a book and I am trying to practice this because we often tend to make mistakes in stressful conditions and life is full of such ups and downs. Our aim is to face every adversity, every difficulty by staying strong. One such way to stay strong and avoid undesirable consequences resulting from emotional outburst is to build a foxhole in our mind. I hope this will help you.

Positive affirmations 01

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Once we attended an interactive session in our college and my friend said that when she faces a problem, she finds a solution about how she will confront it when she encounters it again. But every time the problem keeps changing and she is unable to do anything and again she is left thinking. And the vicious cycle continues. Really we can never be prepared for anything because life is so unpredictable. One moment everything is fine and in the blink of an eye everything is lost. Think about life before this corona virus pandemic. We went to college, we met our friends, we went out and enjoyed and now online classes, conference calls, work from home, these are the new normal. And for some who have lost their jobs and are struggling to find a way of living they are facing another pandemic amidst the pandemic we all have seen.

I have always believed that praying has helped me to remain positive in most difficult situations. The faith that God is listening to my prayers and that he will make everything okay helps me to go on. Sometimes I write, I write about my problems, my happy moments and moments of sadness. Painting also helps me a lot to de-stress. The idea is to believe that any problem we face is transient. Our goal is to stay strong and face every problem with courage. Remember, this too shall pass.

My experience of attending a health camp

Last year in September, JMCH in association with Pinkishe foundation organised a health camp at Toklai tea estate. I had a great time being a part of it. It was a very different and enlightening experience for all of us.

Toklai tea estate is situated in Jorhat, Assam. The local people living there mostly belong to the tea garden community and work in the tea estate. The main aim of our visit was to raise awareness among the women about menstrual hygiene and about the use of sanitary napkins. Some interactive sessions followed by general health check-up and free distribution of sanitary napkins and medicines were also part of the program. We were guided by our seniors and Pinkishe foundation, an organisation for women empowerment. They are working to raise awareness about menstrual hygiene among the Indian women.

The girls and women who took part in the program were of the age group 13 to 50 years. We checked their weight, measured their blood pressure and then asked whether they are facing any health issues. We tried to give them the best advice possible by us. We distributed medicines and advised them how and when to take those. Sanitary napkins were also provided to everyone.

Along with that we tried to make them aware about the importance of maintaining hygiene during menstruation. Most of the women said they use cloth instead of pads. It is something we expected to hear because we are aware that not a big proportion of women have access to pads in India. In rural areas or for people with low socio-economic conditions sanitary napkins are either a luxury or there is a stigma related to its use. Women are shy to even talk about menstruation which is a nothing but a physiological process. They’re too ashamed to discuss about it. Using cloth during menstruation can give rise to infections if the cloth is not washed properly and if poorly dried. Also, it is very uncomfortable to work, attend school, play and do everyday activities while using a cloth. So it is high time for us to raise awareness about it. After all, a healthy daughter will someday become a healthy mother.

One of the most important health issues faced by women is the low amount of hemoglobin in blood leading to anemia. Therefore, we also provided iron and folic acid tablets along with other medicines. A number of women who work in the tea gardens complaint of fungal infection so we provided then some ointments. Talking about menstrual health, the women and girls were very reluctant to discuss about it. So we tried to approach them personally or in small groups so that they can feel free to discuss their problems. We urged them to visit the nearby health centres if they face any health related issues. We advised them to eat healthy food. The importance of hand hygiene and the steps of hand washing were also taught to them. We also tried to make them aware about the importance of immunization. Overall the program was a successful one.

I will always cherish this day because for the first time I got to interact with people on the grassroots level. I could see the health problems the women and children of our country is facing and we tried to help them a bit. I look forward to attend many more such health camps so that I can meet new people, learn from them and share experiences.

Thank you so much for reading.