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UAE residents’ top priority as they #StayHome: Read news online – News

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Video content consumption got the vote from 61 per cent residents.

As the UAE residents adhere to the country’s directive to #StayHome to stop the spread of Covid-19, their consumption of digital content has increased. Now, a new survey has revealed that majority of the residents will spend more time following the latest news updates than on social media, texting and video games.

According to the survey by McKinsey & Co., 65 per cent of respondents will allocate more time to reading news online. About 63 per cent of the same set of respondents said they will increase the time they spend on social media. Video content consumption got the vote from 61 per cent residents.

About 7 per cent of the residents, however, said they will cut down on their consumption of the three categories – reading news online, surfing social media and watching video content.

They were responding to this question: “Over the next two weeks, how much time do you expect to spend on these activities compared to how much time you normally spend on them?”

The change in the residents’ behaviour is attributed to the need to stay abreast of the latest happenings related to Covid-19 in the country and its impact on their daily lives. Whether it is #StayHome, work-from-home, distance learning or restrictions on the movement of people, reading the latest updates from reliable sources remains the top priority of the residents.

Though residents source news through their social media accounts, too, the reliability factor prompts them to read news through direct sources such as news outlets’ digital platforms.

“In the UAE, the prevailing sentiments are concerns about public health and uncertainty about the duration of the crisis. Although consumers are optimistic about a quick economic recovery, they are cutting back on spending across categories. However, they expect to consume more online entertainment and have started new digital activities during the lockdown,” McKinsey said in the survey, which was conducted from April 3 to 6.

Verified news is important: Residents

Ahamareen Siddiqui, a school teacher, said in these times when most of the people are confined to their homes, their only source of news is newspapers, its digital platforms and social media.

“I personally believe that too much reliance on social media may lead to misinformation and rumours. So, the best option is to go for authorised news services to get accurate information,” said Siddiqui.

Sheikh Najum-us-Saqib, a businessman and resident of the UAE for over a decade, said people have been spending a lot of time inside their homes since the outbreak of the pandemic. Most of them follow the latest updates about the coronavirus situation in the UAE and their home countries.

“Most of the shops have been shut and we spend a quite a lot of time with the family and reading news on our gadgets. Due to Covid-19, now there is a breaking news or a fresh development every half an hour. We read news because it somehow concerns one or the other member of the family. These new developments are related to either my business, or children’s schools, or restrictions on our movement to contain the pandemic. So reading news online is the best source through local media outlets due to the reliability factor,” said Saqib.


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