The BIK Youth insight was particularly important as both the report and the panel were focused on the topic of the parent-child relationship and the question of how parents can implement youth media protection for their children.
It was exciting to see that since 2017, there has been a shift in the weighting of parents between a protection-oriented and participation-oriented basic approach. For example, only 71% instead of 90% of parents now say that the protection of their child's age is more important than easy access to all online services.
It is also interesting for us and our work that the surveyed group of 13–14-year-old and 15–16-year-olds rate their general online competence better than that of their parents. This is exactly where we and our activities play an important role. While it is nice and important that parents also take their role in helping their children deal with media responsibly, empowering young people also plays an important role. The peer-to-peer education approach we take with our projects is crucial for this. It is very important that projects such as the ‘media scouts’ exist, and for example in Germany, they are expanded and promoted at schools.
Far too often, dangers around the Internet are still only handled through bans and restrictions. In line with the motto of this year's Safer Internet Forum: “…to protect, empower, respect!”, we must ensure that the use of the Internet is safe, and that we also pay attention to the areas where modern media offer enormous potential and that we create general competences. For this we can fall back on various pillars: parents, teachers, Safer Internet Centres, but above all on ourselves and other young media-savvy people.
Find out more about the work of BIK Youth more generally at www.bikyouth.eu.
About the author:
I started working in the field of safer internet when I was still in school, as a youth panellist for the National Awareness Centre, Klicksafe. I have been studying law and have developed an interest in digital law and politics. I was also involved in the launch of the Youth Manifesto initiative, which was an amazing opportunity for young people to have their say on priorities for creating a better internet for the future. I believe the internet gives great opportunities but we all need to learn how to use it in the right way. The idea of peer education and the fact that youth from every country in the EU meet up to discuss themes around online safety is one of the greatest things I can imagine. I'm really lucky that I can take part in such great programs and meet such great people!