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Social media addicts need counseling

The excessive use of social media by young Saudi men and women has prompted experts to call for setting up counseling centers to treat the addiction that can cause road accidents and negligence in work and studies.
“We need counseling centers to treat social media addicts,” said Dr. Nizar Al-Saleh, a psychologist and secretary-general of the National Center for Youth Research at King Saud University. “Such centers can be found in Western countries.”
He stressed the importance of setting up specialized counseling centers not only to treat social media addiction but also to tackle issues like excess use of electronic games, anti-social behavior and illegal use of weapons.
He proposed the setting up of small research-cum-treatment centers in various parts of the Kingdom, especially at shopping malls to find solutions to these social problems. “People should be given counseling on how to get rid of such behavior and addictions,” he pointed out.
“We should also make use of modern communication means including mobile phones and iPhones to enhance public awareness on such issues and help people get rid of inappropriate social behavior.”
Saudis are considered the largest users of social media platforms in the Arab world.
Speaking about negative effects of social media, Dr. Al-Saleh said it could cause depression and anxiety and encourage people to become introverts, keeping them away from interacting with others in real life.
According to one study on social networks, Saudi Arabia ranked first in the Middle East.

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