Spanish youth play their part for a better internet

  • News
  • 10/02/2016
  • Youth Ambassador

On the occasion of Safer Internet Day (SID) 2016, we asked our youth panellists for their views on the theme of ‘Play your part for a better internet!'. Here, Noelia from Spain provides her thoughts.

The secondary effects of the internet
 
"The internet. Currently a symbol of progress. An immediate association with evolution. Accessibility. The inter- connection between countries. The source of knowledge. Independence. The possibility of expression. The face of innovation. The recent entertainment.
 
"It is the internet which has allowed us to come together in an unconventional way. Tracking news in other countries is no longer exclusive. Talking with people from all over the world is our new reality. What rarely ever comes to mind is the darker side to it. The occasional abuse, neglect and consequences that come hand in hand with the perks of being online. Are we aware at all? Are you?
 
"Whenever I get asked the reason why we raise awareness on this topic or why I take so much pride in being a Youth Ambassador, one thing comes to mind: the ‘secondary effects'. The ones they don't promote and are in slightly smaller letters. The secondary effects of a great cure against distance, ignorance and repression. The other side to the internet, the unwanted, the many times unknown.
 
"Those ‘secondary effect' include cyberbullying in its raw form: children committing suicide. As heart breaking as it sounds, nowadays many teens cover the front pages of newspapers with the word ' suicide' in the headline. Many names have been buried in the progress of technology. Many stories tell of the regret that is left behind by children that weren't fully conscious of how far their cruelty could push another person.
 
"The rising rate of sexting in my country has become natural. No longer is it shocking to find nude pictures and videos of classmates on their cellphones. Its frequent to have teens bombarded with sexual content that instigate sexting, that subconsciously promote the growing trend. How can society act surprised by recent events if they don't protect youth against them?
 
"The real question is, who is there to stop the ignorance? Who can put a stop to discrimination and violence online? Who will finally put an end to the ‘secondary effects' nobody is willing to see? Will you? Will WE?"
 

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