EFFECT OF ONLINE STUDIES ON MENTAL HEALTH

Written by: Harleen Sandhu || Graphics by: Harleen Sandhu

From ancient times, we have seen that people used to go to schools and colleges to gain knowledge, education, etc. But going to school was not restricted to studies only, going to educational institutions such as schools and colleges meant much more than that- meeting new people, making friends, interacting with people of same age (classmates) or elders (teachers) and having their knowledge and experience, which was way beyond only getting education. This has lead to the overall development of people. But, nowadays, the concept of study has changed and to somewhat in a better way.

Now, one can learn anything with the comfort of his/her home in just few clicks. But is this technology good for students? Is it giving benefit or harming them? Well this is what we will be discussing ahead.

ONLINE VS OFFLINE STUDIES

It is a very common saying that “every coin has two sides” if it has goods, it will definitely have bads.

Offline teaching method are the studies that one does in the classrooms, with his/her fellow mates under the teacher’s guidance in a physical manner whereas online education is something in which one can gain something online through ones mobile phone or a desktop and internet connection.

If we see in particular, there was a balance going on in offline and online education practice till 2019 as it was the person’s choice what he/she wished to do, if one want, they can have offline education in institutions and if one wants they can opt for online courses. But after the outburst of coronavirus / covid-19 in 2020 every person’s life changed 360 degrees. For teaching method, they had online classes for each and every subject even for 7-8 long hours. For adults they had work from home etc.

LET’S JUST COMPARE OFFLINE AND ONLINE SYSTEM

Offline studies, as we all know we had social interactions, physical activity, less competition, lot of motivation, mentors/teachers to guide us where ever we stuck but it had rigid timings, if we are having troubles understanding a topic we had no other way then asking it from the same teacher again and again. But learning from one’s place had solved this issue.

POSITIVE ASPECTS OF ONLINE SYSTEM

  • One can access these classes whenever they have time.
  • If one is tired/ unwell, he/she can watch today’s lecture anytime with his/her own comfort.
  • Online method is way more economical than offline one.
  • One can have study material from the whole world i.e. one can have hostile education.
  • Since it is a globally open platform, so there is more completion which will always motivate people to go ahead and do more.

NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF ONLINE STUDY

Since nowadays there is no offline and only online study so one gets more disadvantages of it. It has become worse for the people as-

  • Lack of human interaction may lead to lower self esteem.
  • No doubt one has a lot of information but that information is scattered.
  • One can go under self isolation because they are always on their screens.
  • Increased screen time have resulted in people complaining backache and reduced eyesight.
  • No physical activity has damaged them physically.
  • Everything becoming online has caused mental pressure among students.
  • One needs to get self motivated for this. No external motivation is there.

This all have damaged the mental health of the students. Recent studies have shown that college going students are the worst hit. They have encountered

  • 54% increase in anger and frustration
  • 41% increase in anxiety and fear.
  • 38% increase in boredom and loneliness.
  • 17% increase in sadness and hopelessness.
  • They have lost their sense of freedom.

One of the biggest negatives of online world is the focusing power. Since internet is a pool of alluring things, if a person can find one useful item he can find four distracting items at the same time which reduces his power to focus on the given task. Suppose one is attending lecture on youtube, he will get a recommendation of another video, if he/she has low/no self motivation and self control, he/she will watch that entertainment video first. If one is attending his/her school/college classes and just got a notification on his/her social media, the person will find checking notification more important that the class.

What teachers/parents can do for betterment of mental health of their students/children?

  • Teachers can shorten the lesson in order to reduce the screen time.
  • Parents should talk to children about other prospects as well, rather than studies.
  • They should be given free time in which they can do whatever they want.
  • They should be asked about their hobbies and passion and should give them some time for the accomplishment of that hobby.

Conclusion

As I said earlier, if one has got positive aspects, it has got negatives too. For internet no matter how many goods or bads it has, the control is always in the hands of the user. If one is focused he/she won’t get distracted at any cost and if one is not, he/she won’t learn even on spoon feeding. So make online classes better for yourself and get the advantage of it to as much extent as you can.

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