Pankaj, A Class XI student, has three mobile phones. His mother thinks he has one on which she calls. She doesn’t know he has one phone exclusively for his girlfriend and another to view pornographic MMS clips. Aditya, a Class XII student, says: “I get a recharge of Rs 100 done every day.” But his phone allowance is only Rs 500. (Names of the students have been changed.)
The “invasion of the lives of young people” by mobile phones has contributed to an increase in deception manifested through ‘soft stealing’ (taking money from home without parents knowing), sneaking in phones into classrooms and lying to parents about what they use mobiles phones for.
These are findings of a study presented at a meet of the Indian Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health in Mumbai last month.
Gunjan Madan of DU’s Indraprastha College for Women conducted the study on 40 students from classes XI and XII in 18 Delhi schools. The sample size was considered sufficient as the idea was to “qualitatively analyse” the impact of mobile phones on adolescents.
Watching porn MMS clips, in some cases even making such clips, has become a “matter of prestige” — 78 per cent considered it “very happening”. Ten mothers were also interviewed. “Mothers did not know what their children were up to,” said Madan.