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What is Safer Internet Day?

Safer Internet Day is intended to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology by children and young people around the globe. The day is now celebrated in around 170 countries worldwide. It aims to raise awareness and start a conversation about online safety, especially among young people who may need to be fully aware of how to stay safe while using the internet.  This year the theme of safer internet day is “Want to talk about it? Making space for conversations about life online”.

Impact of the internet on young lives: The internet plays a huge part in the lives of young people today, with many playing online games, posting on social media, and using video-sharing platforms. It may be used for fruitful results like helping young people learn new skills, expresses themselves creatively and connects with like-minded people for the exchange of knowledge and information. However, it is evident from research now that excessive use of online platforms has also been linked to low self-esteem and anxiety.

Internet and Teenagers: The Internet opens a sea of content for kids. They desire the freedom to swim the sea of the internet without any checks and balances. Users of social media are at an all-time high in recent times. According to some research, 90 per cent of teens ages 13-17 years are on social media. In recent times, we have witnessed the rise of violent, sexual and hateful content circulating on these platforms on which kids are present most of their time.

Internet & Health problems: Having continuous access to the internet on smart devices led to the overuse of smart devices like laptops or smartphones/ tablets. It is shocking to know the number of diseases reported among children globally is increasing. All this is a result of cutting off from physical activities and spending more time playing games or accessing the internet for long hours. There is a constant increase in the number of youths who are dealing with insomnia, depression, obesity, heart stroke and low concentration.

By reading all these one should not assume that the internet only has negative impacts on human lives instead there are many positive benefits of the internet we have on our lives, for example, communication has become easy and you can talk to anyone through the words with the help of the internet. Education has become cheap, there are plenty of reading materials, books and journals available online across the globe. Like-minded people can now exchange information easily with each other for increasing their wisdom. In fact, when the internet is used to create kindness, it can make people feel happy, joyful and hopeful, it can bring people together and build community and Inspire others to be kind and hopeful towards life. It is the internet’s judicious use which we need to learn including you and me.

Written by: Mohd. Talib Khan
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