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.