More and more young people in Jordan are logging on to the Internet these days, with figures steadily rising since the introduction of the World Wide Web to the country seven years ago. Statistics reveal that there are currently some 35,000 Internet subscribers in Jordan, while more than 100,000 of its citizens regularly log on.
These figures are reflected in the growing number of Internet cafes, which have mushroomed throughout the kingdom. Some fear that surfing the Web has become somewhat of an obsession for Jordan’s youngsters. However, if the example of Western nations is to be followed in Jordan, this dramatic rise in surfing hours will subside as Jordanians become accustomed to the new technology.
In the meantime, however, some young people are spending between three to 72 hours per week online at Internet cafes, according to café owners. Most Internet cafes owners maintain that most users coming in are between the ages of 16 and 25, and generally spend three to four hours daily online. Some attribute the long hours that Jordanian youth dedicate to surfing the WWW to the extended summer season and to the lack of other recreational activities.
Many, however, view the new technology as a positive sign for the country. Online discount purchases, exposure to the IT world and the potential creation of new hi-tech jobs should all be supported, they say. Furthermore, most Internet cafes still have strict rules about logging on to what is considered “immoral sites”, so frequent users have less chance of being corrupted by exposure to inappropriate material.
The gender gap is still evident in the online community of Jordan. According to café managers, males tend to use their services more than females. One reason for this may be that it is less acceptable for women to remain out of their homes for extended periods of time than it is for boys.
Nonetheless, Jordanian women come in third in terms of the number of female Internet users in the Middle East. Following are Lebanese and Emirati women. ― (MENA Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )