Entertainment Unplugged: Why Live Shows are Essential for Supporting REAL Well Being in a Virtual World

Contributed by Sailesh Jiawan

Many studies over the past few years have shown an increase in depression among teenagers and young adults, and that much of this may be directly related to the use of computers, phones and the internet. Indeed, kids from these age groups are themselves talking more and more about how they feel negatively impacted by the excess use of social websites, the internet, chatting, games and gadgets in general, although they don’t always see a way out of the trap. And in fact usage just keeps increasing, with no end in sight.

Especially as kids become young adults, when they are in college, forming relationships, beginning to really establish themselves in the world in one way or another, this is when I become particularly concerned about some of these effects. I have given hundreds and hundreds of shows at colleges and universities, and I can see so many bright and healthy people wandering around campuses with their faces buried in a screen, essentially oblivious to their peers as they walk by, to the beauty of their surroundings, to so many opportunities and interactions which could be presenting themselves in the here and now – and this at what should be the most important and most wonderful time of their lives.

And so we have new phrases like “Facebook Depression.” We have a virtual world filled with impossible images of ideal bodies, even as anonymous avatars tell us how ugly we are (or how fat, or how stupid). A virtual world where relationships are with people we may never actually meet, who may not even actually exist, and who may consume our time (not to mention our feelings, resources and even our money) to the point that our flesh and blood relationships may suffer. A virtual world which consumes the time we might spend in physical exercise only to tell us how unhealthy we are.

Similarly, for students in particular, computers, phones and the internet can present a virtual world where resources, tools and support systems which can genuinely help a student in their academic career are abundant and often free, but are constantly competing with unreliable sources, empty pursuits, all too alluring distractions, unhealthy competitions and hidden agendas, until finally the amount of time, energy and emotion students earnestly invest into their gadgets makes academic success essentially impossible.

Of course computers, smart phones, apps, social media, games and the internet are not all bad, and in fact each of these can be remarkable tools for learning, growing, developing and discovering. But still, an alarming number of students are showing more and more signs of anti-social behavior, withdrawal and isolation. They are losing self confidence and social confidence and experiencing increasing dysfunction in interpersonal relationships. They are becoming depressed and losing the ability, or sometimes even the desire, to define and discover themselves. Their schoolwork is slipping and they are losing interest in their academic and personal future.

And so, without waiting for us adults to look up from our own screens to tell our charges to stop looking at screens so much, without the students themselves seeing a way out, without turning away from what could be, and often is, an incredibly valuable and positive force, we may wonder what can be done. The answer, as I see it, is in remembering exactly whom we are dealing with here.

Again, I have played at so many colleges and universities, and each and every day I remind myself that these students (as well as my own children) are indeed the answer – they are our future, our hope, they are possibility. The virtual world may present problems, but the students I get to know are smarter than we could ever fully appreciate. They are clever, they are motivated, they are naturally happy and hopeful, and they want to succeed. They want the world to succeed.

If we offer them an alternative, if we show them how to come back to themselves, back to their aspirations and dreams, if we remind them what they are capable of, if we show them just how special they are, they will absolutely, every single time, get it. They can and will come back to themselves and, despite the incredible pull and pretty promises of technology and media, they want to stay there.

I am so fortunate to be highly acclaimed as a performing hypnotist. I have been called “Best Hypnotist in the World” by MTV Europe, Campus Activities Magazine’s “Entertainer of the Year” for 2016/2017, and the APCA 2017 Entertainer of the Year and 2014 Hypnotist of the Year. Every time I perform for students I can see that they are having the time of their lives. They are laughing, they are mystified, they are truly engaged and they are having a night they will never forget.

And while I must admit that this is a bit of an ego boost, the reason I consider myself so fortunate is that my success and my ability as an entertainer allow me to make a real difference. When I give a show, everybody in the audience, in one way or another, is involved, and always in a way that is respectful, positive and fun. They are always the real stars of the show, and at the same time they are feeling confident, capable and good. They are making real connections with the real people around them and learning lessons and tools they can use for the rest of their lives – to be happier, more self-confident and self-loving, and to have healthier relationships and healthier lifestyles. They come to understand how to be clear and centered, how to really experience the present moment, and just how joyous and powerful they actually feel here and now. And they know how to move forward.

Image result for social media anxietyIt is easy to see the way some things in the world seem to be going and to lose hope, and it’s natural to want to distract ourselves, to escape into some alternative reality. But when I look at the young adults of the world today I lose that desire and I regain that hope, and I have seen again and again that if these same young adults really see themselves the exact same thing happens. Let’s never forget to remind them of who they really are!

For More information about Sailesh & booking inquiries, visit: http://metropolismanagement.com/portfolio/sailesh-the-hypnotist/


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