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Children spend up to 6hrs a day on internet

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(Photo: Unsplash)
AMMAN — Around 96.9 percent of children in Jordan spend between one and six hours on the internet, a recent poll by the Jordan Digital Safety Program revealed. اضافة اعلان

Approximately 74.1 percent of children between 4 and 10 years old in the Kingdom use the massively popular video-sharing site, YouTube, according to a poll conducted by Jordan’s digital safety program.

“The issue is the not the number of hours they spend online, it is that we cannot monitor all the content that they view,” said Muna, whose children spend over three hours on the internet on weekdays and over 10 hours on the weekends. 

She added: “I select certain channels for my children to watch but the problem is with the ‘recommendations’ that appear on these channels, which despite being content for children, is very bad and not educational whatsoever.”

Muna went on to explain that it has become especially difficult to control what her kids watch on YouTube because of the few activities that they can enjoy during lockdown. 

But YouTube heeded the calls of parents from across the region when it released an Arabic-language edition of YouTube Kids in 15 countries, including Jordan.

“The new application will help families discover content suitable for children, in addition to offering a wide variety of videos in Arabic and providing easy-to-use tools for parental advisory so that parents may personalize their children’s experience according to their needs as a family,” Google and YouTube’s spokesperson in Jordan, Dalia Faqih, told Al Ghad and Jordan News.

According to a YouTube press release, the application was developed specifically for children under 13. It is a standalone application that offers diverse content for all family members and grants users the chance to discover new topics through channels and playlists that cover education, hobbies, the arts, DIY, games, music, dance, and more. 

Faqih explained that parents create profiles for their children, which will help the app tailor suggestions based on age and interests. 

Early childhood expert, Suha Tabbal, said that providing accessible parental advisory tools is a good idea but raised the following question:“Do we need a smart app to organize our children’s time or should we expand upon parental awareness programs that would provide families with ideas for alternative pastimes instead of watching the screen’s they are now forced to use for learning?”