Social Media has acquired a very unique place in human life. According to research from the Nielsen Company, the average U.S. adult spends around 11 hours each day listening to, watching, reading, or interacting with media. Like any other media it is dual edged sword. It can help masses when it is being used with good intent. But at the same time with malafide intent, it can produce fatal results.
Crimes associated with overuse and misuse of social media are rising steeply day by day. Over 400 million internet users who secured second spot in number of internet users, pose major challenge to India to deal with Cybercrimes. In 2018, there were over 27 thousand cases of cybercrimes recorded in the country, marking an increase of over 121 percent compared to the number of cases just two years back. While the nature of crimes ranges from petty online frauds to lottery scams and sexual harassment, the most targeted crimes seem to be in the banking and finance sector.
Most surprising part of such crimes is that majority of criminals committing such crimes belong to young age and well-educated background. Such white-collar crimes have potential to entice unemployed and misguided youth in easiest manner.
On 7th August 2020 Gwalior Bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court put peculiar conditions for granting bail to Harendra Tygi, an 18-year-old student from Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh who was accused of being indulged in an act of criminal intimidation and causing hurt. Justice Anand Pathak asked for digital detoxification by directing student to refrain from using Facebook, WhatsApp and any other social media for two months.
The court observed that,
“Applicant shall remove himself from the WhatsApp and Facebook group and other Social Media groups for next two months and would not be present on any social media platform at all for two months for digital detoxification for personal reasons or for other reasons, otherwise, the bail shall be considered withdrawn.”
In addition to this court added that,
“Every month applicant shall have to submit report about his digital detoxification at the concerned police station and any default shall disentitle him from the benefit of bail.”
Along with this, court put certain unique conditions like,
- The applicant shall complete his study of PAT (Madhya Pradesh Pre-Agriculture Test.
- The applicant shall install the Arogya Setu COVID-19 tracking app (if not already installed).
- The applicant should plant 5 fruit trees and protect all plants/ trees in his neighbourhood. The applicant shall submit photos of the plants within 30 days of his release. The applicant also has to submit the progress of the plants every 3 months.
Digital toxification is most rampant disorder spreading amongst youth which have widespread social, psychological, economic and healthcare impacts.
Chennai based digital marketer Sorav Jain surveyed about digital addiction and found some shocking results. Some of the results were:
- About 79% of the people admitted to using their phone first thing in the morning, and 70% of them checked their phone last thing in the night.
- About 54% of the people had the urge to check their phones for notifications every few minutes.
- 61% of the people felt annoyed at the ‘No Internet Connection’ notification.
- About 52% of the population missed their hobbies and habits because of more Internet time.
- 51% of the said that the very thought of having no Internet for a day made them anxious.
Digital Detoxification means “a period of time during which you do not use mobile phones, computers, etc., because you usually use these devices too much.” It is a curative measure for re-establishing normalcy in life which affected severely by the presence of Digital media, gadgets and gaming platforms. In an age of advanced technology more and more youths are being succumbed to this toxification.
Justice Anand Pathak has certainly revolutionised mode of punishment and added a new dimension for reformation of criminals. Retribution as a part of imparting justice is a classic way of judging criminals. Reformation of criminals by teaching them proper lesson and showing impact of their crimes can bring the change in society and can save the youth from spoiling their career.
India is the nation of youth. Around 65% of our population belong to bracket of 0 to 35 age. This population is most vulnerable to be attracted by such anti-social tendencies which can prove disastrous to young growing country. In order to prevent such future crimes and ensuring social harmony through social media it is necessary to provide for such punishments which will contribute positivity in society. Condition aptly laid down by Justice Pathak of plantation of 5 fruit trees will help to understand the importance of environment.