Screentime management at the heart of Safer Internet Day 2019 in Slovakia
- Slovak Safer Internet Centre
Safer Internet Day 2019 was celebrated in Slovakia with a focus on regulating excessive use of digital devices such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops and other devices surrounding us on a daily basis. To mark the day, the project Bezinternetu.sk ("without the internet" in Slovak) was launched and introduced to representatives of the public and media.
The project itself does not aim to forbid using the internet through the devices we all have, but offers a helping hand on how to regulate one's use of digital devices and reduce the possible addiction to screens for at least a limited span of time. Accordingly, children have been invited to reduce their use of mobile devices during an entire month. In addition, a survey was conducted in the pilot school Kralova pri Senci, on children and families participating in the challenge.
The results show that shorter periods of use of digital devices have contributed to positive changes in children's behaviours and emotional well-being in their families. It has also led to greater communication between children and their parents or siblings.
In the study conducted by the Slovak Safer Internet Centre (SIC), 26 per cent of pupils were volunteers. Of these, 63 per cent were girls and 37 per cent were boys. Of the total number of pupils involved, 69 per cent lasted for the whole month, 21 per cent for three weeks, 5 per cent for two weeks and 5 per cent for one week.
According to the parents, up to 79 per cent of children are more engaged in active activities. 69 per cent children read more books and magazines. 64 per cent communicate more with their parents and play more with their siblings. 60 per cent of children focus more on their homework, and the same amount (60 per cent) exercise more. 43 per cent engage more in artistic and creative activities.
In the survey, the parents also commented on the use of mobile devices in the school environment. 81 per cent of parents have disagreed with their use in the school dining room, 74 per cent would not allow their use in school clubs and 62 per cent would not allow them to be used during school breaks.
In addition to entry and exit questionnaires, children recorded their feelings and thoughts in diaries. "This month, I have taught myself to believe in myself, I think it is amazing when I find something, not on the internet, but about myself", writes Daniela. "The month of Bezinternetu.sk confirmed to me that even life without a cell phone or tablet is just as amazing" wrote Tereza. Veronika wrote: "I read a lot more books, I was much more outside with the dog".
Students from schools all around Slovakia voluntarily gave up using their devices such as smartphones and tablets, but also playing video games or watching the television for one whole month. The key outputs are personal handwritten diaries providing insightful confessions and illustrating transformations in the child's perception of the real world compared to the digital one.
The major partners of SID 2019 in Slovakia were the Deputy Prime Minister's Office for Investments and Informatisation of the Government Slovak Republic (namely Deputy Prime Minister for Investment and Informatisation, Mr. Richard Rasi whose office has taken over the auspices of the project), the Office for Personal Data Protection of the Slovak Republic, the Faculty of Arts and Letters of the Catholic University in Ruzomberok, the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic and the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic.
The project has made a positive contribution in particular to
- prevent the excessive use of ICT, to support the emotional wellbeing and healthy development of children, positive behavioural change, accountability, mental resilience, empathy, and so on;
- support a positive change of lifestyle, including more offline communication, reading, offline gaming, doing homework, more movement, sports, and more;
- realise the need to regulate the use of ICT;
- support the culture of ICT use;
- and promote media literacy.
All information related to the project is available on the dedicated website of Bezinternetu.sk.
Find out more information about the work of the Slovak Safer Internet Centre (SIC) generally, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.
- BIK Team
On Tuesday, 5 February 2019, the Safer Internet Day campaign turned 16 – and what a great day it was! Under the unifying slogan of "Together for a better internet", we called upon all stakeholders to join forces and bring their contribution to making the internet a safer and better place for all – especially for children and young people.
- Slovakian Safer Internet Centre
In Slovakia, the Safer Internet Day (SID) 2018 event was organised by eSlovensko and Child safety line (LDI) with a localised theme of "Sexual abuse of minors - Who's next?". The main partner of the event was the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic.