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Experts To Discuss Social Media Toll On Mental Health

Experts To Discuss Social Media Toll On Mental Health

In recent years, social media has subsequently become part of our day-to-day life. A study conducted in 2019 showed that on average, an adult Ugandan picks up their phone about 58 times in a single day.

In addition, one spends roughly three of every 24 hours on their mobile devices.

As for teenagers, the average time increases to seven hours a day, according to a separate study carried out by CIPESA the same year.

Apparently, 60% of the Ugandan population has access to mobile phones. However, even with this, the advantage is still that the social media penetration is still low, but it is rapidly rising.

There is a 27% increase between April 2019 and January 2020. The demographics of usage are also mainly biased towards the young population.

A number of studies have found a strong link between heavy social media and mental health challenges.

These challenges range from depression, anxiety, and loneliness to self-harm and even suicidal thoughts.

Available data links social media to negative experiences such as: Inadequacy about life or appearance.

On Wednesday, August 25, experts at the Uganda Social Media Conference, will address these challenges. For two days, they will exhaustively discuss the effect that online life is having on youth mental health.

This is an annual conference organized by the Uganda country office of The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Uganda.

The aim is towards bringing together key stakeholders from the government, civil society, academia among other people. They come together to exchange ideas on the impact of these apps on the state and society.

Some of the notable speakers for the conference are Dr. Paul Kasenene, a Wellness Nutrition Specialist. Dr. Okello Ayen the Director of Public Health & Environment at KCCA and Dr. Benedict Akimana, a Psychiatrist at Butabika Hospital.

Claire Ledu, the Cooperation Attaché at the French Embassy in Kampala will also share at the conference among other speakers.

This is the 6th edition of the conference and it will promote the exchange of ideas, networking, and collaboration on many topics. There are several other key topics in the lineup for discussion other than social media and mental health.

Some of these topics also include the crisis of the state of surveillance, digital privacy, data privacy, data protection, and the gig economy.

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