The UAE has one of the highest rates of social media usage in the world, with 99.26 percent of the population being active users
Facebook and Instagram have announced new tools to help people manage the amount of time they spend on the social media platforms, including ways to limit notifications and a dashboard that keeps track of time spent.
“We want the time people spend on Instagram and Facebook to be intentional, positive and inspiring,” said Facebook in a statement.
“Our hope is that these tools give people more control over the time they spend on our platforms and also foster conversations between parents and teens about the online habits that are right for them,” the statement added.
Additionally, Facebook said it was introducing a daily reminder that will alert users when they reach a time limit they set for themselves to spend on the app.
The changes come as the company faces increasing accusations that it encourages addiction to its platform, prompting founder Mark Zuckerberg to say that the company “is focused on making sure Facebook isn’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being and for society.”
According to statistics from Global Media Insight, the UAE has one of the highest rates of social media penetration in the world, with 9.38 of the country’s 9.45 million people being active social media users – 99.26 percent.
Of the total number of active Facebook users in the country, 82 percent are on Facebook, while 53 percent are on Instagram.
The statistics also revealed that the average time spent on social media in the UAE is two hours and 56 minutes per day.
The large amount of time spent on social media has led to concerns that the UAE’s youth are increasingly addicted to the platforms.
In March 2018, for example, His Highness Dr. Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, warned parents to be wary of allowing young people to overuse technology and social media.
“The unsupervised and almost anarchist use of technology by our sons and daughters is slowly leading them into isolation, and we must stop this,” he said. “This we have to do by guiding our children to use technology beneficially.”