Yep - it’s here again.
I see I was cautiously positive when I mentioned SID in post back in 2008, but I think there was a distinct undertone of scepticism if I’m frank.
But, nine years on, far from slipping into oblivion, it seems safer internet day is well and truly ‘a thing’.
I guess that’s good news. It’s not going to work miracles, but it’s a start. It’s an opportunity to get people to stop and think about what they’re doing when they use the internet – which can only be a good thing. But let’s not kid ourselves: there’s a huge amount of work needed to help people help themselves when making decisions about their online conduct. And that’s by no means confined to children.
I had a butchers at the safer internet day quiz earlier. Hopefully, the majority of kids will regard the ‘correct’ answers as blindingly obvious. Or is that being recklessly optimistic?
The theme with many of the answers seems to be: if in doubt, run and tell an adult. That’s not bad advice, but it’s crucial that young people are made to feel involved in the decisions behind safe online actions so they can understand the reasoning behind it and start putting that to use in the future.
There comes a point when telling kids to ask an adult isn’t going to cut it.
Getting kids to flip their perspective on a situation and appreciate that online conduct can have just as direct and serious ‘real world’ consequences as offline actions is central to successfully tackling the problem. Sadly, on this latter point, people seem to be just as ill-informed now as there were when I dubbed it the fallacy of the virtual veil nearly ten years ago. And that’s pretty depressing.