Odisha: Keeping Blue Whale at bay: CV Raman students told to have proper balance of social media use

Bhubaneswar, Sept 21: First the students of technical institutions should concentrate on building a career and limit indulgence over social media. Calling for a proper balance and judicious use of the technology and Internet in particular, experts and psychologists advised students not to fall prey to cyber threats like dangerous IT-based game Blue Whale and be firm towards their commitments for parents, family and kin.
Speaking at an awareness workshop on “Cyber Security and Threats Like Blue Whale’’ on the campus of CV Raman Engineering College under the aegis of NSS today, speakers were of the opinion that the society and especially students must increase human interactions in their lives and cut down dependence on gadgets like Smart phones so that the isolated state of mind and at times, depression may prove fatal as many victims playing dangerous computer-based games are admitting to depression behind their effort to go for the deadly encounters.
As making friends on social media is partly a type of virtual reality as many identities are false, students must not be too attached to the social media options and lose their emotional strength, they said, adding stress management has to become the `mantra’ to gain control over their brains.
RN Behera, senior technical director at National Informatics Centre, Bhubaneswar said “threat like Blue Whale is more psychological than technical, hence the students must develop interests in sports, extracurricular activities and more focus in studies so that the `weak’ mind would be dominated by the stronger self to have a better life.’’
Manisha Mishra, counselling psychologist from IIT Bhubaneswar said “apart from Blue Whale like threat the campuses should be free from menaces like eve teasing, name calling, Internet addiction, substance abuse and depression. The students should also learn to manage peer group pressure so that they can have a balanced life and study well.’’
She advised the students also to accept as one’s self and do not feel disturbed by what others feel about him/her, depend on one’s emotional quotient and not only on IQ and be brave to say a firm `no’ if there is a need.
Principal of the college Bhavesh Bhattacharya terming the social media `trap’ an unnecessary evil for the society, advised the students to spend quality time with their families, extended families, kin and friends. Saying that social media friends and “not permanent and only seasonal ones’’ he also welcomed “productive use of the Internet and social media.’’
Gender specialist from Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) Sarojini Brahma while providing an all-round introduction to the concept of “Safe Campus, Safe City’’ outlined how students in different campuses across the city are sensitised on the challenges of campus life and how to remain “socially smart’’ and go ahead as successful students in life.
Hinting at the various vulnerable sides of life as students in city campuses, she advised students to have social groups to talk to each other to lessen depression and tensions of student life. It can be mentioned here that BSCL and UNFPA are jointly organising awareness programmes across campuses to make students “socially smart.’’

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