The Bangalore International Centre in collaboration with Indian Psychiatric Society, (Karnataka State Branch) and “The Hindu” had arranged Fourth Event under Canvas Askew Series of Programme, a highly informative and interactive talk on “Is Media Bad for Mental Health?” by Dr. Shekhar Seshadri, Professor, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bangalore on Friday, 27th May, 2011 at 6:30 pm at BIC Auditorium, Bangalore International Centre.
Dr. Seshadri quoting several examples highlighted the fact that Media does impact on the people. He gave the example of the blockbuster film “3 Idiots” in which the filmmaker’s intention was probably to portray that suicide is not the solution to all problems, but there may have been a section of people who perceived it to be the solution to all problems.
Talking about suicides, Dr. Seshadri pointed out that people often try to imitate how celebrities commit suicides and that there have been instances when newspaper cuttings of reported suicides have been found near those who take their own lives. He felt that media exercised an unhealthy influence on the mental frame of young adolescents, particularly because of its intrusive, all-pervasive and addictive nature. In the process, tensions get created in the garb of entertainment. He was clear that parental guidance, moderation and control was essential to maintain the mental equilibrium of young adolescents against the onslaught of what is currently touted as media.
Mr. Subir Roy highlighted the fact that the largely-technology-driven media has made certain simple values and joys of life obsolete. Outdoor games are replaced by computer-aided gamings which are often violent and explicit. Media in its eagerness to “break news” has now no compunctions to intrude on one’s privacy or to launch violent attacks on one’s sensitivities as long as it feels that its popularity ratings would go up.
The interactive session saw most of the audience agreeing with Dr. Seshadri and Mr. Roy. There was a lone speaker who confessed that he was confused, after hearing the speakers, whether watching “Tom and Jerry” cartoons was bad! He went on to add that he rather liked them.