Culture > New campaign to reduce young people’s use of technology

Posted on August 10, 2017

Image courtesy of lickingerbrad via flickr

Alicia Partner reports on the why we should control media consumption
Anne Longfield (Children’s Commissioner for England) has just published a report called ‘Growing Up Digital’ investigating the use of technology amongst young people. As part of her job, she speaks up for children and young people, so that policymakers take their interests into account.

Having conducted a survey on 900 parents across England, in her report, she concluded, “We know that the amount of time that children are online is increasing, with very young children routinely spending over 8 hours a week” and “12 to 15-year-olds spending over 20 hours a week online”. As well as “one third of Internet users are under the age of 18”.

This prompted Anne to release her new campaign ‘Digital 5 A Day’. According to Anne, this is “a guide for parents to help them to encourage their children to enjoy the online world without being totally consumed by it”.

Within ‘Digital 5 A Day’ she maintains that there are five elements of a good digital diet:

Connect – Parents should have conversations with their children about privacy settings.
Be active – Children should be having time away from the technology and should ‘switch off and get moving’.
Get creative – Young people should use time spent online to benefit them educationally and creatively, allowing them to build skills for later life.
Give to others – Children should be reminded that they should give positive feedback to others whilst using the Internet and that negative behaviour should continually be reported on.
Be mindful – Parents should be cautious of how much time their child is spending online. Parents should also encourage their children to think about how time spent online is making them feel. Children should be encouraged to think of ways to manage this.

The campaign is also said to give children the flexibility to explore the Internet whilst keeping safe.

Take a look at Anne’s blog for more details on the ‘Digital 5 A Day’ campaign, and other publications.

What I think
I think Anne’s ‘Digital 5 A Day’ could be effective and beneficial to children. However, having read her blog, I think that she should be promoting technology to be used in a way which can benefit society instead of trying to minimise the use of it.

Being 17 years old myself, I realise there are elements of technology which I and other people my age over-use. So I can see why such a campaign is necessary but I am unsure of its effectiveness within older teenagers.

What do you think? Please comment below.

Alicia Partner
Alicia is from South London and has a keen interest in Magazines and Journalism. Currently studying A-Level Spanish, History and Media. Alicia hopes to pursue her learning further in the media industry. When not watching Netflix or Snapchatting, she can be found reading or exploring London with her friends.

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Exposure is an award-winning youth communications charity giving young people in north London a voice. Please support us to continue our work. Thank you.


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2 Responses to New campaign to reduce young people’s use of technology

  1. Zaffron August 25, 2017 at 11:03 am #

    I agree that when people reach age of about 12, they overuse many elements of technology. However, also agree in the sense that I am not sure that much can be done to stop people from overusing aspects of the internet.

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  1. Kids spending more time online will ‘save the country’. | Exposure - August 14, 2017

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