Manpreet, a 14-year-old boy from Mumbai jumped off from the building that he lived after getting instigated by the online game he was playing until last week. This news being first of its kind has absolutely shocked people of all age groups in India. ‘The Blue Whale’ game or the `Blue whale challenge’ is a task based game on the Internet which has drove about 130 people all over the world to commit suicide. A group of administrators give you specific tasks like listening to a certain genre of music, waking up at odd hours, travelling without tickets and eventually it takes you to self-mutilation and in the end; suicide. Children get in touch with the game by installing some application or via social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. Players usually post things like `curator’, #bluewhalechallenge, #iamwhale, #curatorfindme seeking for administrator’s attention on social media platforms. The rapid technological advancement in the recent years has made mobile phones a necessity for the adults in the modern world, almost everything that human wants is a click away but this suicide really raises a question that `do minors really need a smartphone?’. Yes, smartphone gives an enormous field to expand academic and intellectual horizon but it takes you closer to other things which aren’t advised especially for kids like pornography and social media addiction. Children are becoming dopamine slaves at an early stage due to lack of knowledge and ignorance by their parents. The social media which acts like a mind alterer puts a greater impact on a child’s brain during negative results making them switch from one app to another simultaneously for a dopamine kick.
Rajya Sabha member Amar Shankar has voiced his concern regarding this issue and has advised the government to put a ban on such games but its more over a parent’s responsibility to give proper guidance to their child and gift appropriate gadgets at an appropriate age.