Studies show that the internet and social may pose serious risks to users’ mental and emotional well-being
Under the Patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Hend Al Qassemi, the independent short film ‘Hooked’ by actor-producer Zenofer Fathima officially debuted at the Novo Cinemas in Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai. ‘Hooked’, a film by ZEN Productions under the Enigma series, gives an informative and thrilling look on how the internet and social media can negatively affect kids, with profound implications on their mental, emotional and overall well-being.
Zenofer has been gaining recognition for creating and envisioning film projects that promote discussion and encourage social action on various issues. She was inspired to produce ‘Hooked’ in light of several international studies claiming that the psychological and emotional risks of using digital technologies far outweigh the rewards.
“The unseen dangers of the internet and social media continue to receive increased attention. As a parent, I feel it’s crucial to build awareness on keeping our children safe no matter how busy we are,” Zenofer said.
Bollywood Actor & Director Sohail Khan at the launch of ‘Hooked’.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has warned about the potential negative effects of social media in young kids and teens, including cyber-bullying and depression. Another note of caution has come from a research published in Preventative Medicine Reports indicating that too much time spent on the screen, gaming and smartphones is linked to heightened levels and diagnoses of anxiety or depression in children as young as age two.
Zenofer added, “I believe that the most challenging issue for us parents nowadays is that online access for many kids have become less supervised. They are spending more and more time online, and so the harmful effects they are exposed to also keep growing – from social isolation to mental health issues, to bullying, bad language and inappropriate content. ‘Hooked’ is a cinematic necessity, my way of helping educate parents about the need to protect our kids and the whole family against the possible dangers of the digital world.”
The movie stars Zenofer on the lead role, playing the role of the mother of a teenage girl – played by Noor Tucker – who is exhibiting unusual behavioral changes after getting hooked on a dangerous website. Owais Shah, a former English cricketer, joins Zenofer and Noor in the movie.
“This is my very first short film and I’m very proud to be given this opportunity to be a part of it. ‘Hooked’ is very close to me. A large portion it revolves on how a family is ripped apart by a current reality. I thought we should all do our part to stir action by exploring the horrors and pain of real-life problems like internet addiction,” Owais commented.
‘Hooked’ is now available for viewing on Zenofer’s official YouTube channel House of Zen.