Safer Internet Day 2019 in France: "The screens, the others and myself"

  • Awareness
  • 21/03/2019
  • French Safer Internet Centre

In 2019, Safer Internet Day (SID) was a great opportunity for the French Safer Internet Centre (SIC) Internet Sans Crainte to renew its awareness programme, by catering to its target groups' main needs. This meant developing a campaign dedicated to collecting qualitative data on the target audience's uses of digital devices.

Indeed, nowadays' parents are the first generation of adults to be confronted with educational issues related to the use of digital technologies. In a modern family, there are on average six screens, 73 per cent of children have a personal screen and 86 per cent of teenagers (aged 12-17) are equipped with a smartphone. All these connected devices play a central role in children's lives. The (over-)exposure to digital devices is hotly-debated issue, particularly when it comes to its impact and the social behaviour of young people.

Within families, the management of screens generates cyclical tensions. According to French partner organisation UNAF, 81 per cent of parents of children aged 6-12 say they are concerned about their kids' screen time.

For SID, the French SIC wanted to invite adults and young people to reflect on their consumption of online media. To what extent do we allow screens within the family life? What are the consequences of digital devices on our relationships with friends? How do we manage screen time? How can we protect our personal data?

When it comes to screens, setting rules (and sticking to them) is tricky. The current generation of parents does not have a reference framework when it comes to education in the digital era. Everything is to be built, or rather to be co-constructed with the children. Young people and adults must be able to have a dialogue about each other's online habits in order to better understand each other. The French SIC offers resources to launch the debate in the family and at school, and to question the practices of young people... but also those of adults! We should not forget that 45 per cent of children think that their parents check their phones too much according to AVG technologies!

SID kick-off at the Ministry of Education

On Monday, 4 February 2019, in Lab 110, the French SIC welcomed, together with French Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer, a panel of actors in the field of digital education for the launch the new Safer Internet France programme. It was also the opportunity for some elementary pupils to participate in a pilot workshop of the new Internet Sans Crainte resources.

A "digital parenting" questionnaire to spark discussion at home

From Tuesday, 5 February 2019 onwards, the French SIC invited families to get involved, using an educational tool designed for SID 2019, as a starting point for debate between parents and children. Available online, the questionnaire is an opportunity for everyone to reflect on their use of digital devices. The objective of this initiative is to help families define their own digital practices together. This medium of exchange is the prelude to a major study for a safer internet, conducted by TRALALERE together with partners.

Events throughout France to raise awareness

In the wake of SID, a variety of meetings, trainings and workshops have been organised throughout the country. For this purpose, tools have been made available to teachers and educators to initiate discussion during awareness-raising workshops in and outside of schools. Through two courses for children aged 7-12 and 13-17 five themes were addressed:

  • Screens and I (time spent, equipment, uses)
  • My screens and the others (digital devices in the family, between friends, and so on)
  • My real life, my connected life (digital identity management)
  • My online friends (who they are, what I show them, and so on)
  • Unknown on the networks (freedom of expression and its limits)

The online resources, the questionnaire, and the calendar of the events organised throughout France can be found on

For further information, please check the French Safer Internet Day profile page.

Find out more information about the work of the French 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.

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