Karnataka govt announces `Digital Detox` initiative

The Government of Karnataka, in collaboration with the All India Game Developers Forum (AIGDF) will launch a digital detox initiative, with special emphasis on gaming and social media. Announcing this at the valedictory function of GAFX2024, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj and ITBT, Priyank Kharge, said, “The Digital Detox initiative is yet another step towards fulfilling this government`s commitment of building a digitally empowered Karnataka through responsible use of technology.”

“Karnataka is a responsible government that wants to create awareness of the ills of the sector and instead bring in an environment of responsible gaming,” he added. “Mental health challenges, diminishing attention spans, and strained real-world connections are consequences of our dependence on digital technologies. In this hyper-connected age, technology has intricately integrated itself into the tapestry of everyone`s lives, and being constantly attached to screens has become the norm,” he stated. This prevalence is driven by the convenience and instant connectivity that technology provides, but it also comes at a significant cost. “This initiative aims to foster an environment where technology is used meaningfully and constructively, with a focus on mitigating its negative impacts,” he elaborated.

“The Government of Karnataka will work with AIGDF and Nimhans to increase awareness of mindful technology. Last year, The Government of Karnataka, in partnership with Meta, had announced measures to raise awareness amongst students and educators on online safety and digital citizenship and how to use social media more responsibly and use off-screen time more usefully”, said the Minister.

Through this initiative, both online and offline Digital Detox Centers will be set up across the state of Karnataka offering personalised guidance where trained professionals will provide counselling and support to individuals seeking to navigate their relationship with technology, stated an official release.

Practical tools and techniques will help individuals learn effective strategies for managing screen time, setting boundaries, and cultivating mindful and healthy technology habits. Community Connection will work through workshops, group activities and support groups to foster a sense of belonging and shared experience in the journey towards digital wellness.

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