Having an internet addiction has become more common these days. The internet can be an escape for many but in reality, it becomes a sort of black hole that envelops you for hours on end.
95.7% of the population of Saudi Arabia has internet access and the Kingdom is ranked 7th in the world in 5G technology. The internet has become a way of life; the whole world has come to rely upon it for education, entertainment, work, and even making money with virtual currencies.
However, the growing reliance on the internet and social media are becoming more and more dangerous for society and the economy. Notably, the result of a new study reveals that 23% of family problems were because of internet addiction. In response to that, Saudi Arabia launches a campaign to limit internet usage.
There’s so much content on social media, live streaming is trending, and online gaming is booming. Let’s not forget about streaming services that people get hooked on. Saudi Arabia’s Mawaddah Society for Family Development in Makkah launched a campaign called ‘Use it, do not get addicted’.
The campaign raises awareness about internet addiction and the economic/social impacts it has on Saudi Arabia. The campaign provides different ways to fight internet addiction and offers treatment consultations. A study was made on internet usage in the Kingdom, and it was lead by Dr Maen Altengi and Tania Gupta. She studied internet social science at Oxford University, and Dr Maen specialized in data and social impacts.
- 46% of the participants spend between 2 to 5 hours/day using social media or playing online games.
- 36% of Saudi Arabians used the internet for more than 6 hours/day.
- Qualitative data reveals that many feel like they’re suffering when they are offline and prefer them over real-life activities.
The Mawaddah director-general Mohammed Al-Radhi gave this statement:
Internet addiction is actually caused by a pathological and compulsive use of the internet. That makes a person function lesser in society, his family, and other areas. Technology addiction also leads to a lack of communication between individuals and creates problems due to moods and behavioral disturbance.
The goal of the campaign and spreading awareness is to help break the habit for the people of Saudi Arabia, especially children, by setting limits to internet usage. The best part about the study is that 25% of internet users in Saudi Arabia already aware that overusing the internet harms their social lives and their productivity.