Today is Safer Internet Day! This year’s theme is let’s create a better internet together. Here in the US, ConnectSafely is promoting kindness online by asking everyone to share one good thing they have done using technology. Too often, online safety is just about the bad things that happen online. While we do need to deal with these risks, we also need to look at how kids are being responsible and respecting one another. The reality is most kids are staying safe and having fun online.
This was reaffirmed this morning when I watched an excellent workshop hosted by ConnectSafely featuring teens talking about life online. They shared how technology has enriched their lives by allowing them to connect, to laugh and to learn. They were not naïve about the potential dangers. Each teen talked about how they had developed ways to manage these risks and stay safe. They all agreed the best way to combat bullying and online meanness was by creating a positive and supportive online environment.
To celebrate Safer Internet Day, instead of telling your kids what they should not do online, show them what they should be doing. Let’s build a better internet, by talking about the great things happening online. If you need help finding inspiring stories, (unfortunately positive stories do not rank high in search results), check out Connect Safely’s OneGoodThing channel. It features videos from teens talking about how they use social media to do good. I included one of the videos below but there are plenty more on this channel. If you have your own example, share it at One Good Thing.