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.


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.


Live shows are more and more essential to mental health, and especially now that they are starting up again on campuses. Majority of schools are taking safety measures to ensure a safe and sanitary environment for their students. This will not only increase the campus life experience, but also enrich it.