Virtual Lives Leading Youth To Depression, Says Academic

| Updated: January 29, 2023 2:41 pm

Director of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay Prof Subhasis Chaudhuri Saturday said that depression is one of the main issues being faced by today’s youth.

Prof Chaudhuri was speaking in his address at the 17th convocation of Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology (DAIICT), Gandhinagar.

“The thing we find today as really challenging is that there is somehow a great amount of depression among the students and others. There could be various reasons. But what has happened is that, in my opinion, you are aspirational and sometimes there is a disconnect. When you have a disconnect and particularly when you scale it up you are likely to lose the focus and the disenchantment sets in,” Prof Subhasis Chaudhuri shared with the graduating students.

Stating that social disconnect is one of the reasons for the depression among youth, he quoted from Tagore to highlight the paradox of lives mired in social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. As he put it: “We are making our lives and relationships virtual. There is no real interaction, no real talk. So, there is a social disconnect and it is taking a silent toll on the youth. Because you are more comfortable talking to somebody over your social media identity than with your next-door buddy or dorm mate.”

Referring to numbers, he informed that nearly 25% of students worldwide are currently reeling under depression. He also advised students to remain grounded even when flying high on ambition and goals to attain. Prof Chaudhuri also pointed out that the country is also faced with a fast-depreciating quality of education. “We produce degree-minting people but they are not employable. We as a faculty have to guarantee not only the quality but also a practical skill set development,” he stated.

He also shared his thoughts that India, unlike other countries that are going through an economic recession, is looking at a better future. “We are poised on an economic upswing and our growth trajectory is much better than most,” he stated, urging students to make the most of opportunities to create jobs and wealth for the nation. 

A total of 562 students from eight programmes — B Tech (ICT), B Tech (Honours) ICT with minor CS, M Tech (ICT), M Tech (EC), M Sc (IT), M Sc (DS), M Des (CD) and PhD — were conferred their degrees at the event.

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