safer internet day 2019
Today is Safer Internet Day 2019 and if you are on twitter you'll find the has tag #SaferInternetDay trending. The idea behind this campaign is the promote a safer internet for all and has built-up some momentum. What caught my eye was the press release that focused on how younger people use the internet. What stood out to me was the third bullet point:
Figures show a mismatch between young people?s attitudes to online sharing, and their actions
So why did this catch my attention. Well, if you dig a little deeper you will see a paradox ...
... young people are using the internet as a safe space to understand and navigate topics they're nervous to ask about, with 67% saying it's easier to learn about them online. Encouragingly, the internet has helped almost half (46%) through a difficult time ... Young people have a strong sense of right and wrong online, with an overwhelming 84% believing everyone has a responsibility to respect others. However, in practice almost half (48%) admit their peers don't always think before they post. 36% of young people are sharing screenshots of other peoples' photos, comments or messages at least weekly. Half of young people (51%) think their friends should ask for permission before tagging them or sharing a photo or video of them, while 37% think their parents should ask. Furthermore, 27% are likely to read a friend's messages without their permission. Young people are also not asking permission before posting, despite 81% knowing when and how to ask. Consequently, in the last year over half of young people (52%) said someone they know shared a photo or video of them without asking.
The inst-generation (Generation Z aged between 3-23) have a black and white view of the world and use social media to make their voices heard. However, there are contradictions to their behaviour; they see the internet as a safe place, but willing breach each others privacy. Don't get me wrong, there are many they do not and it is not restricted to Gen-Z as I know plenty of Gen-X that abuse social media and use the internet to do the most ridiculous things!
So what is the answer .... I my humble opinion, it is education as most people that use the internet have no idea of the technology that they are using. In fact there is a questionnaire I would encourage you to do, as a first step to understanding the general principles of privacy and how to treat others with respect.
This is so important in part of how childcare providers can help! If you would like any information we would of course be delighted to help out, although we've seen some great examples from some of our clubs, like Stony BizKids [link to twitter] who ran a Internet Safety poster competition for their children, with some really excellent posters!