Worrisome trend - GulfToday

Worrisome trend

a large number of students in the UAE have been spending five hours daily on social media using their smart phones

The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

It is unfortunate to learn that a large number of students in the UAE have been spending five hours daily on social media using their smart phones (refer to Gulf Today news, ‘Nearly 70% of UAE students use social media for 5 hours daily’, published on Aug.1, 2019.).

If true, the study conducted by a team of students from Canadian University Dubai establishes that those students are wasting over 20 per cent of their student’s life by spending five hours or more daily on social media.

Another disturbing fact revealed by the study was that at least 56 per cent respondents admitted to attempting to quit social media in the past 12 months but failed to do so.

I was also stunned to learn that almost all the respondents were bullied online at least once.

One of the students rightly pointed out that it is essential to understand its positive and negative effects of spending long hours on social media on mental health, in order to avoid adverse consequences.

Social media can be a factor in mental health disorders; therefore, it is important to control its usage and not to rely on social networks to share every aspect of our lives. Although the data that links social media usage to mental health disorders is insufficient at present, as social media is a fairly new tool and people are still adapting to its use, there is need of more studies on the subject.

Research gains more value when conducted over long periods of time, and social media has not matured enough to directly link it to mental health disorders.

Hope students, parents, as well as school and university authorities will realise and take proper action to discourage such practices.

Tamim Ahmad,
By email

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