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A new study from the Saudi-based cultural institute, Ithra, suggests that around 44 percent of people are worried about their wellbeing, which they think is affected by smartphones and the internet. The survey reveals that over 42 percent of the surveyed people believe that smartphones refrain them from spending time with their loved ones.

Around 37 percent of people think that this usage doesn’t balance out their work and social lives. 44 percent of people have also admitted that they let their children use the internet and smartphones without any supervision, which thus, impacts parenting.

The number of people worrying about technology affecting their health is more in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia with 74 percent and 56 percent, respectively, “fearing the negative consequences of the internet on wellbeing.” Only 27 percent of people in Europe and Central Asia fear this.

It is also revealed that 50 percent of Gen Z face issues such as tiredness, poor sleep, and headaches due to digital consumption. Additionally, it is revealed that 48 percent of people spend more time on the internet than expected, 41 percent face withdrawal symptoms when they don’t have access to their devices, and 50 percent of respondents are sleep-deprived.

Abdullah Al-Rashid, Director of Ithra’s Digital wellbeing program, says, “As an organization dedicated to individual enrichment, we at Ithra want to understand the cultural impacts of humanity’s growing reliance on the internet and social media. Unfortunately, our research shows that half of all people believe over-reliance on these platforms damages their wellbeing. This is why we are launching Sync, a new initiative designed to raise awareness about digital wellbeing, support novel research in partnership with global entities, and unite thought leaders globally to find new ways to protect the public”.

However, there are some positive results too. It is suggested that 88 percent of respondents globally agree that technology results in progress with the “key benefits including access to news, connectivity, and freedom.” 64 percent of people believe that technology has helped people big time in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to this, 91 percent of people are spending more time online.

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