Posted on 7th February 2017
Today we are joining schools, young people and other police forces across the UK to inspire people to ‘Be the Change’ and unite for a better internet today.
Safer Internet Day is celebrated globally in February each year to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.
We are joining over 1000 organisations to support the day, including police forces, schools and charities across the UK, NSPCC, Google, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter to help promote a safer internet.
New research launched to mark Safer Internet Day reveals that images and video play a central role in young people’s digital lives. The majority (84%) of 8-17-year-olds have shared a photo online, and in the last hour, 1 in 8 young people surveyed said they had shared a selfie, almost 1 in 3 had used YouTube, and 1 in 4 had used Snapchat.
Encouragingly, young people are using the power of image to make a difference with many saying that they have felt inspired to do something positive by an image or video online and that they have posted an image themselves to support friends or share something interesting with others.
However, while many of their experiences were positive, many young people are having negative experiences online. This includes receiving negative comments on their posts, seeing inappropriate content such as nude phone or videos aimed at an older audience.
Our image-focused digital culture can mean young people face pressures, including body image concerns. According to the study, on average young people take 12 selfies before they are happy to post one online and 43% said they worry about how attractive they look when they share photos online. Furthermore, 45% have used a filter in the last year to make themselves look better.
Will Gardner, a Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre and CEO of Childnet, said about the day: “It is fair to say that in 2017 the internet is powered by images and videos. This can magnify the risks and pressures that young people face, while also offering fun new opportunities for self-expression and creativity.”
“Today’s findings remind us that with an ever-changing landscape, it is more important than ever to equip young people with the skills, knowledge, confidence and resilience to communicate using images and videos responsibly and positively.”
“This Safer Internet Day young people around the UK are uniting to inspire a better internet. We need to harness this enthusiasm and empower them to ‘Be the Change’ and use the power of image to help create a better internet.”
We will be supporting the messages shared online for #SID2017. (@UK_SIC)
For more information about the activities taking place to celebrate Safer Internet Day, plus resources and advice for young people, parents, carers and teachers, visit the UK Safer Internet Centre website here