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Simfin

esafety and digital citizenship specialist

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5 A Day

07.08.17

This morning I was invited to speak on BBC radio about the Children's Commissioner's 5 a Day campaign launched  6 August 2017.

There is a concern that children are spending too much time online (a study by Ofcom found that 5 year olds spend up to 15 hours each week on social media) and socialmedia companies must become more responsible in the way they engage with young people.

The 5 a Day campaign suggests that there are five  elements of a positive socialmedia and online 'diet'.

Be Mindful

Connect

Give to Others

Get Creative

Be Active

To summarise the campaign; parents could look at ways in which they can help their child use social media in more positive ways. To be more resilient and not allow the negitivity of others to impact on their sense of self worth. To proactively look at ways to be positive and supportive of others. To use socialmedia to learn new skills and be more creative, and also to make time to be physically active and particpate in sports and outdoor activities.

Children will learn from their parents and emulate their behaviour - to some extent. Parents who participate in sports and play musical instruments are more likely to have children who see the positive benefits of such activities. Similarly if a parent is always checking their socialmedia streams on their phone in the home, at the park, the playground, then children will see this as normal behaviour and almost certainly use socialmedia in the same way.

Through my work I  see so many positive benefits of socialmedia engagement and it is undoubtedly the most useful resource available to me for my own professional development, and maintaining personal and professional relationships. The presenter asked me if socialmedia was 'bad for children's health.' My answer was that inevitably there will be physical issues around eye strain, posture, lack of exercise, sleep depriavation etc. yet ultimately I think 'Everything in moderation' is a useful maxim. Let's help our young people become positive, resilient, safe and creative citizens. To do this, first, we need parents to understand their role in demonstrating these attributes themselves.

 

 

 

 

09 June 2016

Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes, provides detailed insight into media use, attitudes and understanding among UK adults aged 16 and over. It covers TV, radio, mobile, games and the internet and can be found here.

Findings include:

• a considerable rise (10 percentage points over a year to 16%) in the proportion of adults who only use smartphones or tablets to go online, rather than a PC or laptop. This indicates that these devices are not just supplementing PCs and laptops, but are starting to replace them;

• a sizeable increase (11 percentage points over a year to 42%) in the proportion of internet users who say they only use websites or apps that they’ve used before. This trend, which is particularly prominent in over 25s, points to a narrowing use of the internet, with people focusing on content and apps that they use regularly;

• seven in ten adults now use a smartphone, the device most used for accessing social media and the preferred device for the majority of online activities. Mobile phones have become the media device people would miss most, overtaking the television set; and

• half of adults (51%) that use search engines are not aware that the top items on many results pages are adverts or sponsored links, indicating there is a need for people to be more aware or savvy about the content they are accessing online.

Access the report here

20 November 2015

This report examines children’s media literacy. It provides detailed evidence on media use, attitudes and understanding among children and young people aged 5-15, as well as
detailed information about the media access and use of young children aged 3-4.

The report also includes findings relating to parents’ views about their children’s media use, and the ways that parents seek – or decide not – to monitor or limit use of different types of media.

Read the report

15 January 2014

Structure of this report

Following the Executive Summary in section 1 the report has a two-part structure as follows:

Part 1 The Context of the Internet

Section 2 - Opportunities, risks and challenges

Takes an overview of children's access to the open internet as an educational resource, as a platform for communication and creativity, but also as a source of distinct risks around content, contact and conduct, with specific regulatory challenges.

Section 3 - Parental mediation: managing the risks to children

Describes the tactics of parents, carers and educators in guiding and informing children's behaviour through education and advice, mediation and rules as critical aspects of child protection online.

Section 4 - Safety mechanisms and the role of industry

Describes in detail many of the tools and mechanisms offered to parents to protect their children online and notes some of the issues around such tools. It does so within a simplified model of the internet from content origination to content reception by the user and gives an overview of the status of internet intermediaries like ISPs.

Part 2 The Research

Section 5 - Children and the internet: use and concerns

Sets the context for mediation by looking at key changes in children's use of the internet, their likes and dislikes compared to the online concerns of parents.

Section 6 - Parental mediation strategies: take -up, awareness of and confidence of parents in relation to parental controls

Provides both quantitative figures and qualitative insights to create an in-depth picture of the broad range of online mediation strategies employed by parents and their levels of confidence about their ability to keep their children safe online.

Section 7 - Safety measures on sites regularly visited by children

Looks at the research available regarding parental mediation of websites regularly visited by children, including search engines, YouTube and social networking sites.

Section 8 - Why parents choose not to apply parental control tools

Looks at the various reasons why some parents choose not to install parental controls.

The full document is available here