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Is the internet making your kids anxious? Why Jaya Bachchan’s comments can’t be rejected health news


In the latest episode of Navya Naveli Nanda’s podcast ‘What the Hell Navya’, her maternal grandmother Jaya Bachchan reveals why she is not a great fan of the internet. When Navya questioned whether life was less stressful before the Internet, Jaya Bachchan agreed and said that today’s youth seek validation from the Internet and are therefore prone to anxiety attacks, which the veteran actress confirmed is something that people of her generation have never heard. In their childhood, not really even in middle life.

“New, what happens in your generation is ‘answer calls quickly, answer texts quickly’. You get your validation from what you see on the internet and on your phone. ‘Do we look nice?’ Are we thinking correctly? If you’re talking right?’ All this increases your stress levels,” he said. He emphasized that too much information leads to anxiety among young people.

While Navya’s mother and Bachchan’s daughter Shweta – in the same episode – said it’s not that the anxiety wasn’t there earlier and it’s just that people talk about it more now, one wonders if what Jaya Bachchan said isn’t wrong. And it seems that some experts tend to agree. Dr. Munya Bhattacharya, Consultant Psychologist at Marengo Asia Hospitals, Gurgaon, shares her insights on how the Internet is leading to childhood anxiety.

Does the internet contribute to anxiety in young people?

“The Internet, although a powerful tool for information and connection, has been implicated in contributing to anxiety among children. A prominent factor is the pervasive influence of social media. Children are exposed to curated versions of others’ lives, encouraging unrealistic standards and a constant sense of comparison. On these platforms Cyberbullying further increases stress, creating an environment where online interactions can lead to anxiety,” shares Dr. Munya Bhattacharya.

Furthermore, the pressure to maintain an online presence, collect likes and conform to beauty ideals portrayed on social media platforms can negatively affect children’s self-esteem and body image, Dr. Bhattacharya said. “The digital age has ushered in a new era of challenges, where the lines between virtual and real worlds often blur, intensifying the impact on children’s emotional well-being,” adds the consultant psychologist.

Is today’s generation more stressed?

Doctors agree that compared to previous generations, there is evidence that today’s children may experience higher levels of anxiety. “The immediacy and constant connectivity available through the Internet exposes them to a barrage of information and social expectations. Fear of missing out on popular social events or trends online can contribute to heightened feelings of stress and anxiety (FOMO),” says Dr. Bhattacharya..

Also read: How to manage stress at work and not get overwhelmed – experts share 10 tips

The pitfalls of information overload

A significant problem exacerbated by the Internet is information overload. “The sheer amount of data available at our fingertips can overwhelm individuals, affecting their ability to process and make informed decisions. Constant notifications, emails and the need to stay updated can reduce productivity and increase stress levels,” says Dr Bhattacharya.

Navigating through a wealth of information also creates challenges related to credibility and reliability. “The need to sift through numerous sources to find the wrong information and the right information can be time-consuming and emotionally taxing. Developing strategies to deal with information overload, such as limiting screen time, prioritizing sources, and honing critical thinking skills are crucial. To maintain a healthy balance in the digital age,” added Dr. Bhattacharya.

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