Of course, there’s more to it than regulation, but rather than add to the column inches, this ‘blog in quotes’ is a reminder of the best and worst of young people’s online lives – in their own words (from Hopes & Streams). Just be sure to scroll to the end!
The problem – it’s everywhere
Porn and violence
It isn’t always what we expect
Grown-ups don’t always get it
Reporting isn’t always effective
Mental health is taking a big hit
Self-harm is rife and even used for bullying
But there is so much that is good. For a start, often others DO help!
And they love things like this
Social media can bring together those who wouldn’t otherwise meet
Even gaming can be positive; even families can benefit from video chat
The internet is an amplifier of good and bad: the output can be amazing or horrendous, depending on the input. This Safer Internet Day, let’s remember the positive, but commit to tackling the negative with a mixture of government intervention, industry investment and self-improvement (time, money and moderation), and lots of education (for young people and adults). Remembering of course that all of those will be so much more effective if based on the voice of the young person. “That makes me happy and great.”