Floundering About Like Beached Whales

Riya Nagendra, I Year B.A. English

It’s not so much ‘Blue Whale’ itself that needs to be picked apart – yes, it’s a horrible “game”, but now it exists and we have to face it. Which is why, right now, the real problem seems to be the incomprehensibly incompetent way in which people seem to be dealing with it.

It’s a well-known fact that when you face problematic things in life (successfully or unsuccessfully) you get Experience Points – provided that you learn something from said experience. Right now, the extraordinarily paranoid people in various institutions and administrative bodies attempting to tackle the whole Blue Whale shenanigan have points running in the negative.

I agree, when there’s someone encouraging children and teenagers to harm themselves, we do have something to be worried about – but as always, our caretakers seem to focus on what we should do and what we should not to do rather than why we should or shouldn’t do those things. Which is why, as always, we have the CBSE sending around circulars telling parents to keep their child off the internet, ‘don’t let them play the game’ blah blah – when they should instead be telling parents to talk to their children about it – not yell, not command, but talk. As friends, as equals.

However, we seem to hate talking about things that need to be talked about – mental health issues and sex education, especially. Perhaps, if during those 10th standard biology classes, our teachers hadn’t embarrassedly skimmed over certain lessons, we’d be able to understand concepts like consent. We’d be able to realise that we could say no and get out of a bad situation before it got worse. If our parents were more vocal, more understanding, we’d be able to confide in them, and they’d be able to protect us better by virtue of not being so protective.

Finally, after all the woe and the the suspiciously detailed WhatsApp forwards (that do more harm than good), the blame falls on that one bakra – technology.

I don’t think that people realise that humans (teenagers, especially) are curious and rebellious creatures. The more we’re told not to do things, the more we want to do those things. We are not, however, totally devoid of the ability to understand reason.

But we can only understand reason when there is someone to reason with us.

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