Safer Internet day was an opportunity to promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. It was also the day that school reporters Shakira, Nicholas, Lowri and Dafydd found that 31 members of the class use social media. What effect does that have on their daily lives and how safe are the sites? This is their report.
Most mornings we check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat before doing anything else. Furthermore, we do this without much thought. We ask ourselves everyday questions such as “Where are my shoes?’ or “Where did I leave my work?” but we don’t ask ourselves “are we safe online? Research carried out by the NSPCC state that last year 7,296 young people received counseling after speaking to Childline about online bullying and online safety. Did social media play a role in this or do we need more education on how to say safe online?
We spoke to Steffan, a pupil at the school who uses social media a lot, he said, “we can’t really be certain why safety on the internet isn’t brilliant, but we can do something about it. We need to be more educated and be able to get the right information. Right now, people are getting mean comments on their posts, so we must stop it. I’ve heard that 1 in every 10 child that gets cyber-bullied tries committing suicide. This must stop.”
We also asked our school’s Head Boy and he said, “In my opinion too many young people use social media. Even though there are restrictions, many kids fake their age in order to sign up!”
When interviewed, parent and primary school teacher Lisa told us that we’re all to blame, “It’s not a matter of questioning social media but I think that it’s about educating parents and children,” stated Lisa. “We can easily blame certain sites for not being rigorous enough when checking personal details but I think that young people should be taught how to be responsible for their own actions and that bad decisions could have major repercussions.”
Other concerns surrounding social media are that young people are losing their communication skills. Studies in the US say that children’s social skills may be declining as they have less time for face-to-face interaction. It’s even suggested that health problems are possible due to the lack of sleep that young people are getting.
However, Let us not forget the positive side of the social media. Young people can use it to share and discover useful information about their homework. Young people and adults can of course stay in touch with friends and family from all over the world. Plus Twitter is great for keeping up to date with the latest from your favourite celebrity or sport team!
Is homework causing stress?
School Reporters Dylan, Katie, Daniel, Alys and Dafydd often hear their classmates say that they are stressed because they have too much homework so they decide to investigate!
We asked 31 people in our class and 29 said they felt they had too much homework. However Gwen says “I don’t personally get stressed and I think that homework is helpful. However, if somebody finds a particular subject difficult then I suppose it could be tough!”
Miss Jones says, “of course, if any pupil is really feeling the pressure they need to make sure they speak to their form teacher. They can then make sure they get the support they need. Ultimately though homework is important because it gives pupils the opportunity to expand on what they’ve learned in the classroom.”