Technology is probing to be a double-edged sword that cuts both ways. While the advents of the internet has changed our lives for the better, it has also brought with it may harmful effects and dangers. The Blue Whale Challenge, which has been linked to teenage deaths from America to Russia, is a lurking threat for impressionable minds that has come to attention in Bangladesh in recent days. The sinister game instructs victims to complete 50 self-harm tasks which eventually provoke them to commit suicide.
Although BTRC apparently blocked the Weblink of the game in Bangladesh, it is possible that the link of the game is still appearing in Facebook posts or in Google. The Police in Chittagong on Wednesday detained a first year student of Chittagong University for playing this self-destructive game. The student, who said he started playing the game out of curiosity after finding it in a Facebook link, was counselled and later released. In its latest attempt the BTRC yesterday launched a hotline number (2872) and urged internet users to report if they notice any link of the suicidal game in the internet. The regulatory authority should also immediately ask top internet platforms like Google and Facebook to remove all links to the online game.
At the same time we have to spare some thought to find out why children and youth are playing such deadly online games. In this age of digital distraction, a whole generation is growing up preferring Facebook over books. They can hardly put down the smart phone or turn off the laptop. While continuously surfing online, young generation in particular, is falling prey to such dangerous games and online propaganda as well. In the process, their young mind is being tainted, resulting in the deviation of the young generation.
Absence of healthy recreation facilities and outdoor games is to a large extent responsible for growing online addiction among children. Besides, as the joint family structure is gone and parents are overstressed by modern life, children are often left on their own. Therefore, among the solutions, there have to be better parenting as well as more space for children to engage in outdoor activities and socialisation.