People in Taiwan are spending more and more time making short videos and watching them on social media. An NGO warns that this trend may be harmful to some.
Apps like Instagram and TikTok are spurring a surge in the popularity of short videos, clips that are often less than 30 second long. These clips have a broad appeal in Taiwan, and people across different age groups are enjoying watching and making them.
However, the Child Welfare League Foundation, a local NGO that focuses on the health and wellbeing on children, says these apps can have serious downsides. The foundation held a press conference on Wednesday to address the potential harm these apps can cause.
An official said these platforms give users the chance to become internet celebrities, but that users could also face harsh criticism and even cyberbullying. The official said this could be especially harmful to children.
The foundation’s statistics show that mobile phone ownership among children and teenagers shot up from 38.7% in 2013 to over 80% in 2019. The figures also show that a quarter of teenagers spend more than three hours a day watching short videos, and 14.6% of them spend more than four hours glued to short video apps.
The risks don’t end at cyberbullying either. One student in his second year of junior high school has even suffered retinal detachment after playing on his phone for a long time. An ophthalmologist has warned that severe myopia, which is a common issue among heavy phone users, increases the risk of retinal detachment and even vision loss.