Professional Students’ Use of Ict: Healthy?

Topics: Mobile phone, Health, Health care Pages: 17 (4590 words) Published: January 1, 2011
Abstract
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has become the world’s most important infrastructure. ICT has also been biggest cause of physical, social and mental health problems of individuals. The main objective of this paper is to study the ICT usage pattern of professional students and identify the health problems in them due to their ICT usage. In this study I have referred ‘Professional Students’ to those students who are pursuing professional studies – Management, Medicine, Dental Medicine, Physiotherapy, Pharmacy and Nursing. Survey method was used for the study. Questions related to demographics, ICT usage, awareness of health hazards due to ICT, association of ICT with depression and anxiety among students were asked. The aim of this paper is to investigate whether ICT use in professional education is healthy or unhealthy.

Keywords
ICT, Professional Students, Physical Health, Mental Health, Social Health, Depression, Anxiety, Dependence, Addiction.

Introduction
It is quite difficult rather impossible to imagine life without technology. Modern technologies such as ICT have helped many of the development sectors like education, finance and banking, government, and what not. One of the vital sector, it has lot of scope to develop is Health. Along with certain number of benefits, technology follows with some loopholes. According to many studies, indeed, ICT has been proved as life saver in the field of health. ICT has rising advancements. According to Vic Hayes, considered to be father of Wireless Technology, ‘India is emerging as a hot Wi-Fi destination and its wide range of applications can only be imagined in times to come’. Very recent news to support his statement is that the newly constructed Ahmedabad Airport will have WiFi and VoIP services for commuters. Be connected while waiting for your flight. ICT brings connectivity with the world and it is the major reason why youth are found to be associated with the social networking sites. Young individuals want their own world and social networks are strong virtual communities that give them freedom of expression, a platform of social change, and connectivity all the time. “Mobile Phones replace notebooks at one of the colleges of Gujarat”. (Saturday; Feb 6, 2010; Ahmedabad Mirror). Professors transfer notes, power point presentations and educational videos via bluetooth to student’s cell phones. It is the true example of new-age technology that is ‘green’, effective and trendy. Principal of the college says that “most of us only take into account the negative impact of mobile phones and overlook the constructive side of technology”. Technology can also become ones counselor in battling depression, say the psychiatrist Dhananjay Gambhire. He advices to play online games, anti depression games, mobile games, online Sudoku and crosswords to fight against depression. There are depression software programmes which help users to detail their problems. Rising advancements in ICT gives rise to certain problems as complementary gifts to youth. Youth is increasingly getting addicted to numerous forms of ICT. According to recent studies, people spend around nine hours a week just replying to e-mails. The addiction is such that some get up even in the middle of the night to check their mailbox. Even at the time of family functions or holidays or vacations, people can’t stay away from their mobile phones and laptops.

Experts have warned that the increasing popularity of social networking sites, emailing and texting may be injurious to public health. Nada Kakabadse, a professor at Northampton University, says that these technologies are leading to anxiety, reduced productivity and a generation of smart phone orphans. She points out that people these days are increasingly becoming obsessed with information from an ever growing number of sources. Information and communication technology (ICT) provides an excellent creative tool for students in...

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