Happy Safer Internet Day from everyone at Vodafone and Digital Awareness UK!
In schools across the UK and around the world, young people will spend the day discussing how to use technology safely, responsibly and positively. There will be debates and discussions kicking off about online identity, security, screen time, careers in technology and much more.
Safer Internet Day is mostly celebrated in schools, but that doesn’t mean conversations about using technology safely should stop once you’re out through the school gates. We think there’s no better opportunity for parents to continue the conversation at home and get the whole family involved.
Recent research from Vodafone found that more than half (54%) of parents say they aren’t aware of what their children are doing online, but they don’t feel prepared to have conversations about this as a family*.
So how can we kick start those conversations? We’re well aware that it’s not always easy to speak to children about digital issues, especially when we don’t necessarily feel like we’re up to speed on the latest trends and gadgets.
So, here are three top tips to consider before starting that conversation:
1. Keep it positive
Where possible, leave all ‘tech bashing’ at the door and don’t lose sight of all the benefits technology adds to our lives. This will help make sure conversations are balanced and not too negative.
2. Be approachable
We know that one of the biggest reasons why young people don’t open up to us about the issues they face in the digital world is because they’re worried about being judged, criticised or shamed. Being approachable will encourage them to open up to you.
3. Get involved
Playing the games your children play, trying out their social media ‘filters’ and watching videos from their favourite YouTubers will help kick start conversations about how technology can be used in a positive way. And you never know, you may have a lot of fun along the way!
To keep the conversation going at home you could also check out Vodafone’s new Family Pledge tool. It’s a free, personalised activity that helps families to set their digital ‘house rules’ together in a simple, interactive way.
Find out more about Safer Internet Day
*Research conducted by YouGov with 2,321 adults with children under the age of 16, undertaken in September 2019.
Digital Awareness UK is a leading digital wellbeing organisation working with schools and organisations in the UK and internationally.