Topics for Panel Discussion

S. No.

Important Links
Growing up in a Powerful Digital World: Voices of Youth

07-09-2021 Completed Successfully
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Youth & Drugs: Cleaning up the Toxicity

Last Week of September (Tentative)
Challenges of Higher Education: Transforming Responses in Post-Covid Times

First Week of October (Tentative)
Dealing With Emotional Crisis: Working Together With Young Minds

Second Week of October (Tentative)
Cleaner and Greener Environment: Sustainable Pro-environment Youth behavior

Third Week of October (Tentative)

Panel Discussions Held

Growing up in a Powerful Digital World: Voices of Youth

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As a part of pre-conference activity a panel discussion titled “Growing up in a Powerful Digital World: Voices of Youth” was held at National Institute of Psychology on 7th September, 2021. This discussion was moderated by Ms. Hafsa Khalil Toor (PhD Scholar at NIP).

In the opening statement Prof. Dr. Tim Unwin from Royal Holloway University of London, highlighted that we as humans are “data” in this digital world. We are “enslaved” as we are too dependent on digital world. He emphasized the role of regulatory bodies in devising and improving legal systems for safer use of technology. He reflected on the impact of digitization on environment as it is often underestimated.

Prof. Dr. Asir Ajmal from GIFT University, Gujranwala emphasized that digital platforms are not only limited to youth, but are equally affecting other segments of population. Focusing specially on the aspect of awareness regarding mental health related issues, he emphasized how psychologists are utilizing popular platforms for educating the audience. He stressed that social media platforms must be managed responsibly and cater to the real needs of society.

Prof. Dr. Amina Muazzam from Lahore College for Women University highlighted that extensive use of technology is leading to unhealthy social comparisons. We need to sensitize young individuals about legal aspects of digitalization. This can be done by destigmatizing the reluctance to report any type of harassment. We as individuals need to be more open and accepting in order to cope effectively with problems related to digitalization.

Dr. Jamil Ahmed Malik from National Institute of Psychology pointed out that although problems prevail, it is important to focus on the positive aspects of technology. He was of the view that technology usage is not making our brains less proactive and dysfunctional rather we are learning to adapt and accept the change. Myths prevalent regarding technology are not actually facts but they need to be explored further. Though everything is potentially addictive but the key to cope with this digitalization is striving for balance.

Prof. Dr. Gulzar Ahmed from Garrison University Lahore addressed the issue of changing family dynamics and problems of isolation related to rapidly changing digital world. He emphasized that the real question is that are these developments creating a world that is safer and more humane or not? Adding to it he further said that we need to be more sensitive and aware of fifth generation warfare.

Dr. Bushra Hassan from Islamic International University, Islamabad added to the discussion that it is important to see this digital world through the gender lens. She highlighted that in respect to the cultural context females are underrepresented therefore the issues they face are also poorly reported and understood. Parents are also reluctant to empower females with access to use information and communication technology.

Haider Ali Shishmahal’s (PhD Scholar at NIP) keen interest was in gaming and app development related to mental health. He was of the view that gaming is more inclusive than other forms of digital media because of its innate ability to involve and entertain a wider audience. More empirical evidence is needed to extensively study the effects of gaming on mental health. He himself is working on enhancing wellbeing through meditation and has developed applications to allow others to easily learn to prioritize their well-being.

In all it was an interactive and insightful session especially given the fact that we are in the era of digitalization. It has drastically affected our lives and our communication patterns. Despite the cons of digitalization we are dependent on its influential power to enhance our existence and our survival relies on striving for a more ethical and holistic approach. On behalf of National Institute of Psychology we are really thankful to our worthy panelists and esteemed attendees for a productive and thought provoking session.
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