Social media addiction is making rural India ill

Social media addiction: Increased use of social media in rural India is making villagers sick. Out of every six social media addicts, one person is likely to develop health problems, including depression, anxiety and antisocial behaviour says a study

Chandrakant MishraChandrakant Mishra   21 Sep 2019 11:08 AM GMT

Social media addiction is making rural India ill

Increased use of social media in rural India is making villagers sick. Out of every six social media addicts, one person is likely to develop health problems, including depression, anxiety and antisocial behaviour, says a study.

The study was conducted by King Geroge's Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow and Uttar Pradesh Health Strengthening Project (UPHSP) on 12,000 people between the age group of 13 and 75 in four districts of Uttar Pradesh. The study revealed that 90% of them suffer from severe mental health issues. The aim of the survey was to study stress level, a person's ability to cope with it, depression and social media addiction.

Dr PK Dalal, head of psychiatry department in KGMU, talked about how inadequate sleep is associated with radiations from mobile screens. He said: "Radiations from mobile screens affect the flow of melatonin, a hormone which controls a human's body clock. Melatonin regulates sleep, but due to radiations coming from mobile screens, which alters melatonin flow, people tend to stay awake late at night. When a person does not get enough sleep, he is likely to catch other diseases."


It was revealed in the study that anaemia, breathlessness, and heart attack cases in villages have gone up over the years. On the other hand, diseases like hyper tension, obesity, diabetes, kidney and intestine-related diseases are common in cities.

Dr Dalal advised that a person should take six-eight hours of sleep. Inadequate sleep increases cravings for junk food and sweets, making people obese. "It increases the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. Inadequate sleep also damages cells in the human body," said Dr Dalal.

The study revealed that every fifth person has been suffering from various health issues for a long time now. Most of them suffer either from high blood pressure or anaemia. The stress of studies was common among teenagers.

According to a report published by Kantar IMRB in 2018, of the 130 crore people in India, 56 crore were internet users, out of which 31.5 crore were from cities while the rest -- 25.1 crore -- were from villages. In 2018, there was an increase of 35% internet consumers from villages.


Dr Sujit Kar, a psychiatrist in KGMU, said: "Earlier, people would talk to each other in their spare time. They would play their favourite games, they would walk outside. These were common among villagers. But nowadays people don't play games, physical activities have reduced. A person not involved in physical activities is likely to gain weight, and will get hit by diabetes, high blood pressure and insomnia."

There are 30 crore Facebook users in India, according to the recent data of Facebook, nearly 20 crore are WhatsApp users, which are on the rise. People are so addicted to social media that they don't even take enough sleep and food.

"Social media websites have become an important part of people's lives. People become restless if they get disconnected with social media, even for a little while," explained Dr Dalal.

"Many researches have revealed that 70% of diseases affecting a human body are associated with mental health problems. And mental health gets affected when a person is under stress. When you will be stress-free, your body will also support you. So, if you remain healthy mentally, you will be healthy physically," concluded Dr Dalal.

Also Read: How to reduce the risk of BP and diabetes among rural women?
Also Read: It's high time we invest more in health infrastructure, doctors
Also Read: Uttarakhand's health centres sans health facilities

More Stories


© 2019 All rights reserved.

Top