BIS #7093 INB Organises Digital Addiction Awareness Training

By Br Aliester D’Souza for BISMumbai

On 26 October 2023, the Social Communication Commission of the Salesian Province of Bombay (INB) conducted a training for trainers programme on Digital Addiction, at Don Bosco Provincial House, Matunga. 35 participants from 14 institutions of INB were present for the programme.

Heeding the Provincial’s suggestion to educate the young in the INB institutions about the use of media, the Social Communication Commission identified digital addiction as the issue that is rampant among young people across the province. Hence, they decided to conduct this training workshop to help youth animators from the various INB institutions guide the young towards digital addiction awareness.

The training commenced at 10 a.m. with a short prayer and words of welcome by Fr Ashley Miranda, the Vice-Provincial of INB. Then, Fr Chris Ferreira guided the participants to accept their dependence on their phones and realise that the young spend even more time in the digital world.

Fr Jacob Palaparambil and Fr Robert Pen helped the participants understand in depth the effects of addiction to cell phones and digital technology. While not denying the boons of the digital world, the sessions helped the participants accept the bitter fact that young people take refuge in the screens of their devices to escape from the harsh reality of life. Fr Pen also spoke of how educators could help the young in their institutions heal themselves from digital addiction. He elaborated on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as a way to begin the healing process.

The participants were enthusiastic about the programme and were committed during the sessions. Their interest in the topic was apparent from the questions they posed, the discussions they had, and the thoughts they shared with the gathering. Ms Kepha Pinherio, one of the participants, shared, “As a teacher, attending the training session was a revelation for me. It not only equipped me to guide my students but also made me confront my cell phone addiction. It has ignited a commitment within me to bring about a positive change both in my life and the lives of my students.”

Ms Priya Shinde, another participant, said that the initiative to involve animators from educational institutions and parishes across the province was certainly a significant step in spreading media education, which is the need of the hour.

After the training, the participants were instructed about how they were expected to carry out digital addiction awareness in their institutions. The Commission also presented a toolkit that would help the participants in this regard.