Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 15 December 2019

Studies prove the obsession with ‘likes’ on social media is unhealthy

Our readers have their say about the demise of Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed, the effects of social media and materialism

Instagram users in the UAE have noticed that likes are disappearing from the app. Reuters 
Instagram users in the UAE have noticed that likes are disappearing from the app. Reuters 

I write to you in reference to Farah Andrews' article Instagram has started hiding likes in the UAE (November 18): many studies have been conducted on the culture surrounding social media and the unhealthy obsession with “likes” and comparison to others online. A recent report from UK’s Royal Society for Public Health and the Young Health Movement looked at the impact of different social media platforms on mental health. While there were some positives about accessing health information, the opportunity for self-expression and a feeling of community, the negative factors were heavy. Things like anxiety, depression, loneliness, sleep quality and negative impact on body image were all reported.

Lilas Salaheddine, Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed helped keep alive UAE’s cultural heritage

I write to you in reference to your article Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed, brother of President Sheikh Khalifa, dies (November 18): the demise of Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed is a great loss to the UAE and its people. Judging by the fact that his name was trending on social media, it is evident that the people will miss the second son of Sheikh Zayed, the UAE’s Founding Father. Sheikh Sultan did much for the country, especially with regard to its rich heritage. The Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan Heritage Festival, of which he was a patron, included camel and saluki races, a camel beauty contest and traditional markets that sold handicrafts and hosted traditional activities. May his soul rest in peace.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

A downside to materialism is our inability to build relationships

I write to you in reference to Daniel Sanderson's article New measures needed to combat materialism in UAE, study finds (November 6): one of the downsides to materialism is that we are happy in the company of inanimate objects. We become more reserved and increasingly resistant to the idea of socialising. This is mostly because of our excessive use of smartphones and a fascination to lead virtual lives. Some of us do not even know our neighbours. Perhaps we are busy in the hustle and bustle of life, trying to make both ends meet. But we are social animals and need to take time out to reach out to those who live in the physical spaces around us. We must work harder at building and preserving human relationships.

Mathew Litty, Dubai

Updated: November 19, 2019 07:07 PM

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