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Social Media Addiction Is Greatly Impacting Arab Youth

A survey has revealed disturbing findings about social media consumption and its mental health impact on young people.

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social media addiction is greatly impacting arab youth
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As of 2023, the Arabic-speaking region has the highest per-capita levels of social media adoption globally, with the average internet user owning 8.4 accounts. Now, findings from the 15th annual ASDA’A BCW Arab Youth Survey have shown that a significant majority of the region’s youth are finding it challenging to disconnect from social media — something that is negatively impacting their mental health.

The survey highlights that the Arab world’s youth spend in excess of 3.5 hours a day on social media. Nearly 75% of users admit to struggling to disconnect from digital platforms, with 61% conceding that their mental health has suffered due to social media addiction.

Social media addiction has meant that a consensus has formed among young Arabs that big tech companies — such as Meta, Google, and X — hold “too much power”. Over 90% of respondents also think these companies are not doing enough to combat disinformation.

Another trend revealed by the survey is that a significant percentage of respondents (13%) aspire to be “social media influencers” rather than taking up careers in typically prestigious fields such as medicine or engineering.

Also Read: The Largest Data Breaches In The Middle East

Despite the increasing time and energy spent on social media platforms, nearly 60% of Arab Youth say traditional social experiences such as “eating out” and “hanging out with friends” are defining elements of their lifestyles. The findings suggest that even in the digital age, in-person social experiences remain important.

The Arab Youth’s growing dependence on social media is concerning and is clearly impacting mental health. As the region battles with high levels of youth unemployment, the findings of the ASDA’A BCW Arab Youth Survey call for a rethink of the role technology plays in the lives of young people and its impact on their future.

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Initial Trials Of Dubai’s Driverless Evocargo Trucks Completed

Testing was announced on July 17, and the completion is a major milestone towards upgrading the region’s logistics infrastructure.

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initial trials of dubai's driverless evocargo trucks completed
Dubai Media Office

A Dubai-based company has completed the initial trials for the UAE’s first driverless trucks. The groundbreaking achievement by Evocargo, partnering with Dubai South, took place at Dubai South Logistics District, and marked a significant step towards incorporating autonomous technologies into the region’s wider logistics infrastructure.

Announced on Wednesday, July 17th, the trials featured the Evocargo N1 unmanned electric truck navigating a predetermined route within a controlled setting. The test involved interactions with common road obstacles such as cars, trucks, and pedestrians, aiming to evaluate the vehicle’s hardware and software reliability, accident prevention systems, and overall readiness for public road use.

Officials were keen to highlight that this accomplishment aligns with the UAE’s ambitious strategy to position itself as a global leader in innovation and technology adoption. The country aims to have 25% of all transportation in Dubai autonomous by 2030, underscoring its commitment to revolutionizing the logistics sector using advanced technologies.

Mohsen Ahmad, CEO of the Logistics District at Dubai South, emphasized the importance of the collaboration with Evocargo in enhancing the region’s logistics capabilities. He noted that autonomous vehicles are set to increase efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and establish a sustainable logistics infrastructure that will benefit both Dubai and the wider UAE.

Also Read: Riyadh Developers Reveal New 45,000-Seat Murabba Stadium

Ahmed Al-Ansi, CEO of Evocargo Autonomous Logistic Services, also expressed optimism that the trials will draw new customers and investments across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The partnership aims to lead in innovative tech solutions, further establishing the UAE as a pioneer in autonomous transportation.

The successful completion of the trials marks a crucial step towards realizing the UAE’s vision for a technologically advanced and sustainable future in which autonomous vehicles are expected to play a pivotal role in global logistics.

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