Discussion forum on virtual relationships

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Department of psychology at Parvatibai Chowgule College of Arts and Science, Autonomous, Margao organised an online discussion forum on the topic ‘#DownloadRelationships –Navigating a Private Affair’.

The Discussion Forum is a yearly event hosted by the psychology department which creates a safe space to have a discussion on various topics that are selected each year. This year, with the understanding that everyone was under lockdown stuck at their homes, and with the internet being a major source of communication and establishing relationships, the department decided to talk about virtual relationships. The speakers for the session were associate professor of psychology at Elphinstone College in Mumbai, Vilas Padhye; IT professional, Sangeeta Naik and advocate, Seoula Vas.

The speakers spoke about the various aspects of virtual relationships touching upon several factors that contribute to our vulnerability and dependence on the internet.

Padhye spoke about the psychological aspect of virtual relationships, right from why one indulges in them, to how emotional needs are met virtually, and to the issues involved in maintaining such relationships. The IT professional spoke about the technical aspect, including points like how safe, secure and private our virtual conversations are, and what potential dangers it could pose.

Vas talked about the legal aspect of the issue, explaining what our privacy rights are, and how the cyber law in the Indian constitution can offer us protection. After the speakers’ addresses, the forum was open for discussion and students interacted with the speakers on several topics like how the cyber cell can act, the protection of encrypted data, cyber bullying, the concept of a ‘digital pre-nuptial agreement’, and coverage of law in terms of consent. The event received participation from students from different colleges in Goa.