Saudi Gazette – We are living in the revolutionary age of the fifth-generation of technology, and being computer illiterate has became uncommon and socially unacceptable, particularly among teenagers. In a world full of new technological innovations, being able to multi-task has become normal and expected.

‘Screenager’ has become the term to describe teenagers or people in their twenties who have an aptitude for technology, particularly, computers and Internet. Some recent articles are using the term to describe teenagers who are able to use two or more devices at the same time.

The phenomena of being a screenager, has grown out of the iGeneration, or people who were born in the mid or late 1990s or as recently as the mid 2000s.

Older generations have developed the ability to multi-task, though, for a number of reasons, such as the changes in daily life.

Saudi web developer, Moath Saleh, who was born in the end of the 80s, said: “I can use two devices, such as the mobile and the computer at the same time because of work.”

He added that he could not always focus on what he is doing when he is using two devices and that it could lead to him wasting time.

For Fouad Salem, in his 30s, using a smart phone and the computer while watching the T.V, is a sort of fun, as he checks international news updates while working. Yet, this habit has a negative impact on his sleeping habit, as well as his concentration.

A 30-year-old Saudi male who wanted to stay anonymous said that most Saudis are Screenagers because there is not enough activities and entertainment in the country, so the lifestyle is one of the major factors behind developing such a habit.

Saudi doctor, Hanaa Najem, explained that when she is at home, she watches T.V, and uses her iPhone and computer at the same time.  She said that she used the cell-phone for chatting with family and friends, while keeping the T.V on mute until she found something to watch. At the same time, she searches the internet on her computer. She said she uses multiple devices because she wants to benefit from her free time and doesn’t want to miss anything.

Head of the communication department at the Jeddah Chamber, Walaa Abdulattif , became a screenager when she got her smart phone six years ago, said: “sometimes I have to do multi tasks, so I use my phone and Laptop at the same time, but mostly because I am addicted to social media. Until now, I cannot say that it is effecting my health.”

A Saudi university student, Noura Alawadh, who’s part of the iGeneration, said: “I use several devices at the same time maybe because the things that I do at the same time don’t need much attention.”

She also said that because of having long periods of free time, she tries to find some alternative for killing the free time, but it’s impacted her concentration and she now has to read texts several times to understand them..

Several doctors have illustrated that until now there is not any adequate information or scientific studies that show that the screenager habit has a negative impact on physical and psychological health.

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