UAE residents spend more hours online than sleeping

UAE residents spend more hours online than sleeping

Daily phone usage in the country is nearly two hours over the global average of 6.58 hours

For mum of two NH, her entire life revolves around the online world.

“I easily spend 12 hours a day on my phone,” she said. “Ordering groceries, going through my kids’ schoolwork, emails from teachers, recipes to cook, finding inspiration to bake, chatting with my friends... everything happens on my phone.”

According to a recent report issued by the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), UAE residents spend 8.36 hours online every day — nearly two hours more than the global average of 6.58 hours. This is the 10th highest average worldwide across all devices.

The Dubai resident admits that she wishes she knew how to control her behaviour.

“I know I am severely addicted,” she said. “But to be honest, I don’t know how else to be. I have my phone even when I am with my kids. Sometimes I feel I don’t think I give them enough undivided attention.”

She also spoke about a time when her phone had gone for repair.

“I felt like a part of me was missing,” she said. “I would randomly start looking for my phone before realizing it wasn’t with me. It was a strange feeling.”

TDRA said that 59 per cent of the UAE population buys their needs online every week, and 32.4 per cent make purchases through phones. Around 68 per cent buy miscellaneous digital content, while 33.4 per cent purchase their food needs online every week.

Emirati Dina also admitted that she spends too much time on my phone.

“I have become so dependent on it that I cannot imagine living without it,” she said. “I have tried to control it by distracting myself and keeping my phone in another room, but the temptation to check it is very strong.”

Dina spends most of her time on Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat and Youtube.

The report also specified that UAE residents spend 4.35 hours on social media every day: the 12th highest number globally.

Maitha spends close to 8 hours online every day, mostly using social media.

“I use it for work as well as personal interest,” she said. “I have never felt the need to control the time as I feel like I am always learning something new from social media. It helps me grow as a person.”

Her friend Amna also spends at least 8-9 hours online.

“I spend most of my time on Instagram and Whatsapp,” she said. “I watch educational or entertainment videos on Instagram and I use Whatsapp to stay in touch. I am online only when I am at work. I try not to be online once I finish work and head home.”

The report issued by the TDRA has statistics from the Digital 2022: Global Overview Report, and aims to offer a snapshot of the digital lifestyle in the UAE.

Afra, another local internet user, also admitted being online for at least 8 hours every day.

“It is unavoidable,” she said. “When I am at the gym I listen to music on YouTube. When I am at work, I have a lot of work online. And when I am at home, I browse online for everything, from lifestyle, to fashion, to beauty.

You need to be online for everything.”

News Source: Khaleej Times

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