Owing to the increasing cases of deteriorating mental health of the students of University of Delhi (DU) the Varsity has decided to set up two mobile phone de-addiction centres, in collaboration with the World University Service (WUS) in the North and South Campus.

Smartphones have surely eased the communication process. However, it has given rise to a new set of severe problems. Ina recent study conducted by the Department of Psychology suggests that the increased dependence on smartphones is leading to severe addiction and instability in the mental health of the students of DU. In such a scenario, digital detox and counselling of the student community have become imperative.

Researchers have decoded four common triggers for the compulsive use of smartphones which, if addressed, can help shun the screen addiction. The four triggers for habitual smartphone use are: During unoccupied moments, like waiting for a friend to show up, before or during tedious and repetitive tasks, when in socially awkward situations, and when people anticipate getting a message or notification.

Since most of the communication regarding classes and college activities happens through smartphones, giving up on them is not an option, making them a necessary evil.

Mamta Banerjee from Lady Shri Ram College said, “The whole college works on WhatsApp. Everything regarding classes, events and activities is communicated through that app only. The phone keeps pinging all day and I can’t help but get addicted to it.”

Another student, who wishes to remain anonymous said, “I wake up to the beep of the cell-phone and sleep with the cell phone in my hand. I always get the fear of missing out and the compulsive urge to constantly check my phone which has increased my dependence on it.”

Professors of DU colleges have observed the increased use of mobile phones in the classroom and aggressive behaviour of students when they were reprimanded for it. Dr Reema Ranjan, a Professor commented, “I always ask students to keep their mobile phones in their bags as students tend to use phones during lectures, and the attention span of the students has reduced.”

Head of the Psychology Department, DU, Professor Ananda Pradhan said, “The study conducted by the department found out some stark realities about the mental health and digital toxicity in students. Therefore, owing to the welfare of both the students and teachers, we recommended the varsity to set up the de- addiction centres for counselling”.

In light of this, the University is set to opening these centres at the World University Service (WUS) in the North and South campus and proposes to organise workshops and regular counselling for students in order to facilitate digital detoxification and check the screen time among students.


Feature Image Credits: Bagby


Sriya Rane

[email protected]



A regular conversation of a Delhi-ite right after the purchase of a new phone certainly stresses on the words “cover”, “screenguard”, “clear/matte” and sometimes even “Gaffar”. Let’s take a closer look at the fascinating world of phone covers and screenguards.

Smartphone covers have evolved from being a one-time side-buy of a phone to an important, regular and thoughtful buy. They come in different types, some of them being silicone, 3D, bumper and flip.

Screenguards are also a must for smartphone owners. They come in clear, matte, diamond (shiny) and privacy filter, which only lets the screen be visible to someone exactly in front of it.

These things are mostly bought from local market places which have recently seen an outburst of such shops or thelas. (The proud Delhi-ite’s saying, “There’s a metro exit in each block of CP” is now “There are 5 phone cover thelas in each block of CP”)

But then suddenly, someone from your friend circle suggests going to Gaffar Market, a mobile phone accessories’ paradise, and everyone starts pushing their wallets and phones deeper into their pockets because pickpocketers there are to be feared. If you have a friend with experience of Gaffar Market, he’ll take you to one of the wholesale shops there which sell covers and screenguards at the rate of scrap.

Now, a word of advice: There has been a trend of overcharging of phone covers and screenguards. Some vendors charge as much as Rs.500 for a screenguard despite the fact that ultimately it is just a small sheet of plastic, it’s cost being Rs.5 or Rs.10 at most. DO NOT OVERPAY. Bargain. Keep in mind the following prices recommended by DU Beat.

Cover: Rs.100 (Bargain harder for a bumper, it only covers the edges after all!)

Screenguard: Rs.50-100 (Let the vendor do the labour of applying it.)


Image Courtesy : www.productportal.com


A long-term relation, dozens of dates, making new friends or just a chat with like minded singles – mobile dating apps can help you succeed! With a myriad of like-minded users available,  it shouldn’t be hard to get what you want!  Here are some apps available on Android and iOS devices for free, to help you in your endeavors!

Krush – The dating app (Android)

Krush is a unique dating app that uses your Facebook account to provide you with lists of viable partners, which are generally your ‘friends of friends’ on Facebook!

By matching your interests, hobbies and preference You will receive a list of 10 suitable users everyday. You  may “Like’ or ‘Skip’ them. If you ‘like’ a user and get a positive response from the other side as well, both of you would be informed about the match. And if you don’t get matched, the other user would never know your identity and will remain a crush! The app gives you complete privacy and your contact details aren’t shared, unless you want them to. Go, find your krush(es)!

Tinder (iOS & Android)

Tinder is a simple app that connects to your Facebook account to access your basic information.
It finds you suitable partners near your locality, from which you can select users by going through their profile pics, choosing the one that meets you eye! If you get a positive response you can then start a private chat and take it further and if not, you atleast showed your interest!. It has a game-like interface which makes it fun to use and can be addictive!

Twine (iOS & Android)

Twine enables users to interact with one another in a safe and non threatening manner. Your user identity is kept completely anonymous. It connects with Facebook and accesses the basic information along with your  interests. Based on your location, you will be suggested users according to the ‘Twine juice’ that you have. You can interact with them on a personal chat  straight away with the profile pics blurred. You may reveal your name and pic later using the ‘Reveal Now’ button. It also showcases some unique features such as ICE – Intelligent Conversation Enhancer that allows one to initiate the chat using by generating questions!

So if you are having trouble finding a date in a traditional manner why not use your smartphone?

Go ahead and use these apps to enhance your love life!

Happy Dating!  <3<3

Sidhant Malhotra
[email protected]


Picture source:  www.business2community.com


Think about the last time you read an important piece of information. More often than not, it comes from the status updates of your numerous friends on Facebook. When you put forward an opinion, a lot of it might have drawn inspiration from your favourite tweets on the same subject. Instead of flipping through the pages of your neatly organised notebook, you would rather zoom into the picture you saved of your college timetable on your phone. Information is now merely a click away, giving people from even the most remote corners of the world an opportunity to communicate easily and efficiently. However, a majority of us are now crippled by our continuous dependency on these virtual crutches.

In the light of the latest crackdown on social connectivity, consisting of the government restricting messaging to a meagre 5 per day due to the threat towards people from the North-East did not sit too well with a society that is completely in sync with the social networking era. Thus, what actually began as a somewhat reasonable ban to prevent rumours spreading on a wide scale is now being seen as another excuse by our country’s leaders to crack the whip on our freedom of expression, be it through the SMS or the more dangerous threat of control over sites like Facebook and Twitter. Agreed, a simple ban on texting will in no way stop malicious stories leaking into the public domain. However, what is also evident is the fact that the lack of proper texting facilities didn’t lead to the end of the world a good four months before December 21st, 2012. Life continued in the same fashion as it did when the rights of texting were more liberal. When the Telecom Authority of India had declared a ban of 100 SMSs a day, so many users received a reality check when they learnt of their addiction to a piece of electronic genius. However, just as we gradually got accustomed to this new regulation and our tired fingers were fortunate enough to be subjected to marginally less typing, the new ban for a short period of only 12 days is too insignificant a sacrifice being paid for the uproar it has caused.

With the messaging limit being later extended from 5 to 20, and finally the lift of the ban, social networking sites immediately saw the appearance of memes and statuses proclaiming happiness almost equal to a nation winning its first world cup. The excitement of being able to send 15 more messages a day seemed palpable as almost everyone had their phones out the next day, furiously typing as they stared into a mini screen that flickered with notifications received from their equally enthusiastic recipients. However, the comment that made me stop and re-evaluate how dependant we really have become to these social platforms was when someone casually remarked, “I don’t know about people with those outdated phones, but almost everyone has a Blackberry or a smart phone now. That keeps us connected through BBM, Whatsapp and Facebook. This ban on texts is just a minor glitch,” said one such addict with a beeping Blackberry in hand.

The number of times we refrain from using our electronic gadgets for practically everything can be counted off our fingers. When you start working on your super important project one day before the deadline, you thank the Google and Wikipedia gods for showering their blessings on you. Our internalisation of technology is evident from the use of phases like ‘I googled that information’ or ‘I saw that on her wall last week,’ while only a couple of decades ago, walls referred to those rectangular combinations of cement and plaster of Paris that form the outline of every structure. As for the future, this incessant need to be constantly linked to everyone around only seems to be growing as social media spreads its branches and reaches out to every single entity within and beyond its periphery. Social networking and technology provide us with an easier and more efficient lifestyle, but that doesn’t alter the reality that if our parasitic existence continues, we might just be witness to the dawn of a Matrix-inspired end to our civilisation.