Life is a process of change and growth. The course of transformation and development is very tangible in all walks of life. It is predominantly seen in the fast growing digital technology and in the pervasive penetration of modern gadgets particularly the mobile devices into our everyday life. Today it is more difficult than ever to resist the lures of new mobiles and apps. On the one hand, mobile platforms and apps have been touted as a boon to social connectivity. On the other hand, the excessive use and compulsive dependence on these gadgets have become major social problems around the globe.
The benefits of social apps are overshadowed by addiction-related challenges. Mobile devices are particularly addictive because of their easy accessibility and portability. Dr John Gabriel, specialized in digital addiction, warns that “convenience is the mother of addiction” and highlights the need for a “digital diet.” Fixation with digital platforms can be as detrimental as physical addiction, like dependence on alcohol and drugs. Dr Avinash Desousa in our cover story speaks of the rational use of the digital media and the need for digital detoxification. He also gives eight practical tips to use the social media intelligently and profitably.
As digital technology advances in pervasiveness, digital addiction will take a heavy toll on public health. Mushrooming user-friendly digital technologies may significantly pull towards digital obsession. Hence it is important to be mindful of the dynamic interplay between technological innovation and human vulnerability. In spite of the possible dangers of addiction, if we use digital media judiciously it will help us grow and move forward.
*** *** ***
There is a change of guard at THE TEENAGER TODAY. Fr Alfonso Elengikal, will succeed me as the new editor. I was appointed the editor of THE TEENAGER TODAY in August 2015, and now it is time for me to move on. I thank all of you, readers, friends and patrons, who have helped me in various ways in carrying out this responsibility over the past three years.
Fr Alfonso was the editor of the magazine earlier for two terms, and he has to his credit the distinction of being the longest-serving editor of THE TEENAGER TODAY, an office he held for over 17 years. It was he who initiated the well-known teen pageant TEEN OF THE YEAR twenty years ago. I warmly welcome him to the ‘Hot Seat’ and wish him all the best, as he takes over the responsibility of the magazine with effect from the next issue.