LUDOPATHY AND DIGITAL DIVIDE TWO ISSUES FOR THE ACTUAL GENERATION/TWO PROBLEMS OF OUR TIMES
By Vitaliano Gemelli

The In.Tra project., funded by the Ministry of Employment, was identified and drafted to address and try to help solving two of the major problems of our times: youth gambling addiction and the digital divide of the elderly; thanks to an integration process of both generations – as to digital division – which should lead to a deeper understanding of the psychological and social problems of our time.

Globalization of the “information society”, which we have been experiencing for some time, has led to extremely positive phenomena throughout society for personal psychological evolution, through the awareness of the possibility of freely expressing oneself on all issues that are considered important ; at the same time, the creation of a circular debate, which is positive in itself, has released negative impulses that pertain to the self-legitimation of every thesis, regardless of the congruity and depth of knowledge of the problems, eliminating the meaning and value of knowledge and therefore mortifying the cultural level and the need for an in-depth study of every aspect of daily life.

Self-referentiality has become the pathology of every generation using internet and social networks indiscriminately, because it has lost the sense of need for sociality and therefore of the ideal, cultural, scientific, civil confrontation of the human consortium of which we necessarily belong.

An element upsetting the reference cultures was also the affirmation of the “politically correct”, conditioning feelings and above all reference Cultural Values, to consolidate a “society of standardization of behaviors”, absolutely unnatural and lacking of the minimum respect for the personal originality of each one, which has always represented the true richness of human evolution.

The use of social networks and the self-referentiality induced by some subjects, who are psychologically more exposed, have led these subjects to a condition of solipsism, which for some has taken the path of pathological gambling addiction.

The “need” to win, which in a personal confrontation can be resolved in the satisfaction of prevalence over one’s interlocutor or on the need to find a new way of confrontation, in the eventuality of the admission of the other’s reasons – in the solipsist sometimes reveals itself in the game, which gradually becomes compulsive in any case, both to chase an ever greater number of victories, and to chase revenge in the event of defeat, sometimes wasting financial resources and other times the time to be used for necessary activities.

Attempting to verify the feeling of youth with regards to this pathology was the goal that In.Tra. intended to pursue through a partnership with the Retlis Association, chaired by Professor Doctor Antonio Grassi, psychiatrist, who provided a reference sample on the national territory, through research in schools, involving a huge amount of work, especially because the realization of the Project has encountered the suspension of all activities as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. We had to ask the Ministry for two extensions and the Ministry itself, through the Director General of the Third Sector, understanding our reasons, granted the requested extensions. The other problem relating to digital divide also suffered from the pandemic, above all because the investigation intended to be carried out and the teaching seminars that had to be organized were aimed at objectively more fragile subjects due to the pandemic in progress.

In a first period, the scarcity of the availability of both elderly and young people, who served as teachers, was the greatest obstacle to the implementation of the Project, overcome only after almost a year of inactivity with the good will of the organizers on the field and of the users of the Project.

The digital divide problematic is a social and individual one; the “elderly” subject not being able to perform what for the majority of society becomes commonplace, is marginalized and forms a social class in need of primary services, providing for the use of digital medium. The marginalization of this part of society, which also represents a social cost for the provision of public services compensating for individual shortcomings, is at the same time a psychological problem for the de facto marginalized subjects. They are unable to live contextuality and therefore move away from the “unknown present” – of which they are part – refracting in the known but “out of date” past.

Not knowing how to operate a household appliance (television, washing machine, vacuum cleaner, but also medical instruments such as a blood glucose meter or other), not being able to use an ATM to withdraw money, not knowing how to use a POS, not knowing how to communicate with a mobile phone, Ipad or a pc, are all limitations that preclude knowledge of a world being not only under instrumental, but also cultural, social, civil, sporting aspect, limiting the expression of one’s personality through the evolution of contextuality of knowledge.

The Project, at least for the chosen sample, aims to affirm the “contemporaneity” of every member of civil society, avoiding leaving a part of society out of contemporaneity and therefore back into the past. The body that I chair, the National Union for the Fight against Illiteracy – UNLA, moral entity, Aps, has as its primary objective the dissemination of culture and, instrumentally, lifelong learning, because with permanent education for each social subject, it will be possible to guarantee a society, in which everyone will be able to enjoy the basic conditions for affirming their subjectivity. We believe that these practices should become a structural commitment of the State, which could carry out directly or through numerous bodies and popular Universities that carry out this task by choice covering the whole society and not just a reference sample. Finally, we have to thank the Ministry of Employment, the Director General of the Third Sector, the Managers and the Officials who have decided to entrust us with this opportunity, which we hope will record positive results.

President of UNLA

Vitaliano Gemelli

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