Rehabilitation now!

by Christos Zambounis

The February 18th edition of the “Times” of London has the title “Weekend” and the central theme “The 89 rules for life”. Six of the top writers, i.e. the leading journalists of the historic newspaper, write. One of them, Caitlin Moran, advises never, ever accept an invitation to a boat. The reason? “If after 20 minutes you get bored, you can’t leave.”

Another, Giles Coren, recommends staying off Twitter, without bothering to explain why, though we all suspect the reason. In my long research for the book ‘Savoir Vivre online’, I had the opportunity to see how ‘poisonous’ to mental health the indiscriminate use of Social Media can be, especially in the tender years. In China, for example, clinics to wean people off electronic communication are blossoming like almond trees at the end of the winter season.

The tone of the new trend has begun to be set by a number of celebrities who have been ‘burned’ by their exposure to the virtual world. Spider-Man, Tom Holland, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Kendall Jenner and other prominent stars of show business have taken down their accounts, with Kardashian’s daughter stating that she wanted a break because every morning when she woke up the first thing she did, and the last thing she did before going to sleep, was log on online, with the addiction ‘hitting red’. There are countless recommendations from doctors and other experts for judicious use of cell phones and computers, or in some cases a break from electronic devices.

The new King Charles III of the United Kingdom, as a neo-luddite, goes even further. He has no mobile phone. You will say to me, he may not have one, to a certain extent. I would reply that we can too. A trial, with a gradual reduction in the hours we are connected, might be highly beneficial. Detox now.