Digital detox campaign urges ‘say yes to kin, no to screen’

SALALAH, APRIL 15 – A campaign against excessive use of electronic screens that include mobile phones, electronic tabs and even computers, drew spontaneous participation from the community as every participant wanted to know the tricks to train themselves and their children to get rid of ‘screen time addiction.’ The call here was to “say yes to kin, no to screen.” The campaign — ‘Digital detox’ — started on April 9 in Salalah will conclude on Tuesday after covering a wide range of theme-based activities including music, traditional and modern games, school visits, lectures, presentations, and interactive sessions.
The campaigners as well as the audience, interestingly, comprised mostly students who are generally blamed for using all sorts of gadgets with electronic screens. The campaign leaders were the public relations students of Salalah College of Applied Sciences, while the audience ranged from school and college students to their parents.
“The week-long campaign had four activity days, with most of them aimed at creating awareness through interactive sessions with the audience. We involved children, visited schools, invited experts to give lectures and handed over gifts to the children to keep them engaged and get motivated during the events,” said Ali Eid Jamaan, final year PR student of Salalah CAS and an active campaigner of ‘Digital detox for healthy body and healthy mind.’
The campaign kicked off with formal launch by Dr Saeed bin Salem Jaboob, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs and Scientific Research.
The campaign, according to the participants, was successful in establishing communication with the audience as most of them were convinced about the bad effects of using screened electronic gadgets for long hours.
“We were successful in convincing our target audience about the use of electronic devices and their negative impact on people’s health. We tried to convey our message of ‘digital detox’ through leaflets, brochures and banners done by our team mates. It was a great learning experience for us, as we learnt how to engage with the community with a theme based project,” said another student and part of the campaign team.
The underlying idea of the campaign is to raise awareness about screen addiction and convince people to refrain from its use to promote good health, social interaction and give more time to physical world than the virtual world.
The campaigners visited Khawla bint Hakim Primary School in course of the campaign, while Mona Jaboob, teacher of Omani Culture, delivered a lecture on the importance of ‘Digital detox’ to grades 11 and 12 students. The students were asked to fill a survey questionnaire to understand their habits of electric use.
An ‘Infotainment Night’ was held in the series of events at Salalah Gardens Mall. It drew random participation from parents, children and the members of the local community. On focus here were children. They were seen enjoying the ‘digital detox’ cartoon play, face painting, games and quiz.
“Overall it made a good impact on the children, who were exhorted not to overuse mobile phones, tabs and other screens. Parents like us were convinced that the children need to be engaged more and more in outdoor games and physical activities,” said Fatima, who was part of the audience and admitted that she remained there all through till the end of the event.
The highlights of the campaign’s closing ceremony on Tuesday are film, drama, survey results and lecture. It will also mark recognition of supporters for their notable contribution.