[MEDIA] “Schools and parents must work together to protect children online, says Christian social media expert” with @PremierRadio

[MEDIA] “Schools and parents must work together to protect children online, says Christian social media expert” with @PremierRadio

I had a quick chat with Premier on the News Hour yesterday, regarding this story – which has an interesting set of headlines on: MSN; BBC; Guardian; Telegraph

My thoughts pre-interview were:

  1. Agree need supportive digital environment, but needs govt, schools, parents, youthgroups, social media companies, etc. to all get involved, and definitely not just rely on schools
  2. Why I wrote RCIDA “hoping bad things wouldn’t happen” – need to be informed, get involved, and the centrality of CONVERSATION
  3. Soc med T&C needs to be better, for all age groups. Approve of a digital ombudsman, thought socmed companies should be doing this already. Can social media hide behind the ‘should be 13+ to be on there’, when it’s so clear such large numbers under that age online.
  4. So much media focus on negativity – helps parents feel powerless – e.g. November Ofcom released detailed report, a lot was quite positive, but the headlines weren’t (as this one isn’t either)
  5. Parents fears = inappropriate material (leave alone?), strangers (more often someone known, as has ever been, why conversation important to pick up quickly/be someone they want to talk to), bullying (yes a problem, but almost has become rite of passage) – don’t see solely as an online problem – happening ON the tech rather than (just?) because of it.
  6. Balancing resilience and vulnerability = key.

Comments on the above, which I’d posted on Facebook included:

  • We need to teach discernment alongside resilience. We need to push back against the idea parents can’t do it/aren’t interested (whilst aware is a minority of parents who don’t), and that all responsibility lies with government/schools. Highlight e.g. NSPCC, CEOP materials.
  • Why is e-safety a ‘should be’ important in the curriculum? It already is!
  • Kids need adult free space in order to develop and be allowed to make some mistakes and have good and bad experiences. Whilst younger all interactions are done with guidance, but as older can’t police their every interaction any more than would down youth club, in the park, etc.
  • Analogies for ‘what we did when we were kids’ not necessarily helpful, as it is a different paradigm.

Blog post including full interview here.

The full report is here, the online youth summit I referred to is here, and the event in Canterbury in February is here.

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