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Sorting out the mind space!

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By: Abid Hussain Rather

Mental pollution is bewilderment and perplexity in the thinking process which ultimately leads to stress, anxiety and tension and is the amalgam of preoccupied imaginary negative thoughts, apprehensions and speculations which psychologically haunt our mind. With the advancement of science and information technology, we have tremendous information available with us that over burdens our mental space and ultimately causes issues.

Being a silent consumer to the internet content of different nature, stuff that contains main mental pollutants in the form of sexual, horrible and violent video clips contaminate our mind and adversely affect our decision making and learning process and weaken our memory. Mental pollution can also be caused by some criticism, disfavor, dishonor, an unpleasant situation or relationship. Pride and inferiority complex is also a kind of mental pollution that eats away ones intellect and wisdom.

This is not to say that technology in itself is wrong or the advancement in media machinery is undue, but it is to assert that the use of such modernity needs to be well guided, well informed and well designed as well. Anxiety, depression, jealousy, illogical and negative thoughts, immoral actions and fear of future are some of the adverse effects caused by such a scenario when we lose ourselves to the circumstances and surrender. It only grows in intensity and leads us to all sorts of evils in including the tendency for robbery, rapes, murders and other crimes. Modern man is living in an imaginary world because of the easy availability of technology which pretends to be handy and helpful but actually controls our minds and moulds our behavious.

It has been observed in a research that out of almost 6700 languages spoken in the world more than 2000 languages are spoken in the continent of Africa where educational standard is very low. Furthermore; as per the reports of Centre for Advanced Study of African Languages, almost 75-80% Africans are multilingual and can speak 12-15 languages as either their first or second languages. Since Africa is world’s least developed continent where people are living in very poor and impecunious condition due to non availability of scientific and industrial resources, they are free from multimedia videos, books, dictionaries and internet services. On the other hand people in developed and civilized regions of the world can hardly learn a single foreign language in their lifetime though they have access to all these aids and helping tools. According to experts, the absence of mental pollutants in the environment enables an African to learn and speak an average of 13 languages. Researchers believe that besides socio cultural and psychological factors, absence of mental pollutants can play a vital role in learning grasping things in a more profound manner.

Intentional or unintentional encounter with various mental pollutants in the form of movies, programs, pictures, posters, advertisements can trigger the brain hormones and disturbs the biochemical system of our body which results in the arousal of various emotions like anger, frustration, fear or sexual thrill. Such emotions weaken our memory power, imbalance our thoughts and make our mind unable to concentrate and focus on new things and hinder our learning and other cognitive processes. Researchers are of the opinion that during the ancient periods, despite the unavailability of science and information technology and powerful tools, people were having sharp memory power and they were masters in many fields and languages due to the absence of mental pollutants.

It was observed during a survey conducted by some experts in Faith University of Turkey that people who spend most of their time in front of a TV or computer screens because of their work, entertainment or some other purpose are involved in some kind of mental pollution irrespective of their age, sex or occupation. According to this survey the level of mental pollution of an individual depends upon the amount of time spent on different media forms.

What matters is the fact that how judiciously we are making use of new technology and how do we draw a line between the need to use media and sheer thrill. The world is dependent on new technologies and the booming media but the process has to be spearheaded by men not machines- we as people have to be in control of the content and the quality. As positive comments and applauses from people can boost our morale similarly inexpedient criticism, negative behavior can clog our mental capabilities.

 (The author is a columnist and teaches Geography at GDC, Kulgam. He can be reached at [email protected])

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