DPM expresses concern over gadget addiction among people

07 Sep 2019 / 19:01 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail today expressed concern over gadget addiction among the people, saying that they are too dependent on gadgets and digital devices for information and communication, and completely disregarding the ‘’real world’’ around them.

She said it was now common to see a group of teenagers or adults consisting of friends or families, sitting together but not communicating with each other.

“This situation clearly indicates that they are more comfortable in sharing, exchanging information and expressing their feelings in cyberspace than in the real world.

“It is even more alarming when children as young as two to three years old have started playing with gadgets or digital devices such as tablets and smartphones as if those gadgets were their most reliable companion or babysitter, apart from their parents and guardian,“ she said.

Dr Wan Azizah said this in her speech at the Productivity with Community Day and the launch of Awaspada guidebook here.

“Parents should be aware that gadgets are not the second babysitter for their children. Face-to-face communication is better than children being left alone to stare at images or animations on screens,” said Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister.

She said the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) under the ministry had organised various programmes to encourage parents and families to wisely use gadgets in communicating and improving family relationships.

The deputy prime minister further said that the problem of ‘’digital drugs’’ occurred when an individual spent more than four hours using the Internet for something unrelated to work or study.

She said a study showed that extreme Internet usage of more than six hours per day would cause lower satisfaction and well-being than the average Internet usage of one to two hours per day.

Referring to the Internet Consumer Survey 2018 released by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, she said it was found that the average Internet browsing time in Malaysia was 6.6 hours per day, with 93.1% of users accessing the Internet via smartphones.

Dr Wan Azizah said that extreme Internet usage could cause its users to become addicted which would also threaten physical and mental health. — Bernama

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