01.02.2022 – 01:01
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, April 20 /PRNewswire/
The Digital Wellbeing Program publishes the first global report and announces new studies focused on the younger generation, including research with the University of Milan-Bicocca and other prestigious institutions
– Sync research shows that two-thirds of young people (18-24 years old, 58%) want to limit the time they spend online
– More than half of Gen Z respondents (54%) say they find using technology distracting
– Sync and its partners will use innovative research methods to study the impact of excessive internet and social media use on the well-being of younger generations
Improving one’s health has traditionally been a high priority this time of year, and increasingly that means we need to change our online behavior. Sync, the digital wellbeing program, has released a white paper examining global developments in internet and social media habits as friends, families and colleagues seek to reunite in 2022. The program focuses on exploring the impact of excessive use on young people – 58% of whom say they spend more time online than they would like.
Abdullah Al-Rashid, Director of Sync says: “The investigation of Sync in collaboration with ASDA’A BCW and PSB Insights proves one of the greatest contradictions of modern society: the benefits and potentially harmful effects of our growing dependence on social media. No generation will be more affected than the one that grew up with this technology. The possible impact on the future of humanity is still unknown. To address this phenomenon, we are collaborating with leading universities to develop solutions to foster digital wellbeing among young people.”
Dr. Mark Griffiths, Distinguished Professor of Behavioural Addiction at Nottingham Trent University in the UK, commented: “The latest Sync report highlights both the benefits and the downsides of the increasing amount of time online around the world. While the positives outweigh the negatives, particularly when it comes to social networking, the report highlights the potentially distracting effects of new technologies and how technology use can interfere with other important activities, including school and work responsibilities. I have studied the issue of ‘technology addiction’ for 30 years and while the report does not examine the addictive potential of new technologies from a clinical perspective, it shows that online technologies can be problematic for a minority, even if they are is not a clinically diagnosed condition.”
Data highlights growing concern among young people
Sync’s first white paper, Global Digital Wellbeing Report 2021, shows how deeply entrenched new media is in young people’s communication habits, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Two-thirds of Gen Z respondents (58%) say they spend more time online than they would like, highlighting the potential negative impact on physical and mental health.
- More than half (54%) of young people say the technology in their lives distracts them from their daily tasks.
- The overwhelming majority (69%) of 18-24 year olds say they are now using more messaging apps than they did before the pandemic, which could prevent a return to face-to-face contact when the impact wears off.
Looking at the research drives Dr. Griffiths continued: “The report provides very interesting insights into the use of technology. The majority agree that online addiction is a disease and that some types of technology – such as smartphones – are designed to be addictive even in older people. As a researcher, I was also pleased to see that over 40% of respondents think government should fund studies that focus on technological dependencies, and the majority think there are more resources to address such dependencies should. Three-quarters of respondents felt their own government should do more to provide quality and affordable care for online addiction. These results suggest that online addiction seems to have entered the public consciousness.”
New research partnerships
Following this initial report, Sync is proactively investigating the impact of excessive internet and social media use on young adults. This includes future collaborations with the University of Milano-Bicocca.
Sync’s collaboration with the Digital Wellbeing Research Center at the University of Milan-Bicocca will use a holistic new approach to examine students’ relationship with their smartphones, including the impact on concentration and anxiety in different social contexts.
Marco Gui, director of the center, says: “Every student today owns a smartphone that offers connectivity that previous generations could only dream of. But at what price? We’re grateful for Sync’s support of our new methodology as we explore the potentially beneficial and harmful effects of being always connected.”
Sync – Global Summit for Digital Wellbeing
The first Sync Summit for Digital Wellbeing will take place on March 29-30, 2022. It brings together global thought leaders, institutions, opinion leaders and the public to raise awareness of digital wellbeing issues and develop new ideas to protect digital media users worldwide. For more information, see https://sync.ithra.com/.
Notes for editors
Dave Gordon, CEO by PSB global, comments: “The first Sync Digital Wellbeing Study addresses one of the most important and emerging issues of our time – how communities around the world are adapting to the transformative role of technology in our lives. The global reach of this study, conducted among more than 15,000 consumers in June and July 2021, provides insight into the regional and demographic nuances of how digital technologies are influencing and influencing consumers across 30 countries. Together, PSB and SYNC will help educate policymakers, scientists, the media and the public about how emerging technologies will impact our future generations.”
Sunil Jones, President of BCW Middle East, explains: “The first Sync Digital Wellbeing Study is truly groundbreaking as it provides important data and insights to improve understanding of the impact of increasing social media use and its impact on the lifestyles of young people around the world. The study underscores how we can harness the power of digital technology while ensuring the long-term well-being of all users.”
information about sync
Sync is a digital wellbeing initiative launched by King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) with the vision of creating a world where we are all in control of our digital lives. The initiative draws on extensive research in collaboration with global organizations to understand the impact of technology on our lives and to translate the knowledge gained into campaigns, tools, experiences, educational content and programs aimed at raising global public awareness of this issue to sharpen.
Information about Ithra
The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) is one of the most influential cultural institutions in Saudi Arabia, a destination for the curious, creative and knowledge-hungry. Through a compelling array of programs, performances, exhibitions, events and initiatives, Ithra creates world-class experiences in its interactive public spaces. They combine culture, innovation and knowledge in a way that should appeal to all people. Ithra prides itself on inspiring the cultural leaders of the future by connecting creatives, challenging perspectives and executing ideas. Ithra is the flagship of Saudi Aramco’s CSR initiative and the largest cultural center in the kingdom, comprising an ideas lab, library, cinema, theatre, museum, energy exhibition, Great Hall, children’s museum and Ithra Tower.
For more information please visit www.ithra.com.
 Developed based on a survey of 15,000 people in 30 countries commissioned by Sync and conducted by PSB Middle-East in June and July 2021.
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Original content by: Ithra, transmitted by news aktuell