Last year in October, I was chosen by our national awareness centre in Slovakia, to take part at Safer Internet Forum 2011. I tried to do my very best during the sessions and participated very actively and in the end was elected as a Youth Ambassador, together with other 5 people. When I think about it now, it was one of biggest opportunities given to me in my life.
This year I participated at the Safer Internet Forum as well, with the difference that I participated as a Youth Ambassador. There were three of us, Ambassadors at the forum, Iva from Bulgaria, Tereza from Czech Republic and me. Our job was to help by the preparation sessions, to help panelists on the forum, to explain them the project more. I had the possibility to look at the forum from different perspective.
And I must say I loved that kind of perspective. I was so passionate about working with Panelists during the forum preparation. I enjoyed deep group discussions about myths, giving my presentation about online content, helping them by creating their own advertisement campaigns and finally by explaining to our new youth ambassadors with the cooperation of Vivendi how it works and what are we going to do.
These things actually mean a strong new experience in my life. It’s unforgettable experience, which will follow me in every aspect of my life.
I hope that I helped our great session and workshop leaders, Pippa and Jeff, and the whole event, maybe just little bit, but I’d be happy with every small thing, which was helpful from my site.
I would like to write something about role of young people in all of projects like this, not just safer internet project, so
Safer Internet Forum is only one of few events inviting young people to participate. I will explain why I think Young people are not taken serious, although in some stuff they are really better. My personal opinion is that young people are taken as not enough experienced and professional to bring a value for the event. But this is wrong, completely.
This year’s SIF target group was KIDS. And Young people are closer to them. They know what works, what doesn’t make sense, they know how trust can suffer if parent uses filter and all the things about industry, parents, awareness centers are talking all the time. Young people know how an action will impact kids, how a campaign will influence kids and that’s only because they are the target group.
To be honest, I don’t think young people are really professional or super-experienced to work like adults. But this shouldn’t be even expected from them. Young people should talk about feelings, opinions, situation and own experience from their environment. We need to adapt the conditions, so they can only focus on things they know the best. Our panelists are these great people. If you ask them on bullying in their environment, they’ll tell you only truth, which can help the organization by education, to see the real situation, to know if they need to prepare involving presentation or rather to prepare one with language of young people. Young people can even tell you if they would click on advertisement promoting Safer Internet and tell you why yes or why not. Young people bring feedback and target group benefits, key aspects for every project, which has anything to do with kids, young people or something they know better.
I think this is the real WHY, why should Young people be involved in every project, in which they have anything to say, which can help the project.
Technology and especially internet is a fast progress medium. Progress sounds like really positive word.
Five years ago it wasn’t recommended to put your name online. At least I had the feeling. The environment, where I moved was feeling so. Now? People are proud to put their names online. They want to speak loud, be visible.
This is called global trend. There is a good question about this. Why? Is it because, internet users suddenly changed their opinion about visible name online? I don’t think so. Internet is kind of copying the world market situation. People put their names visible; build LinkedIn profiles, because they want to be recognized. And this is the same think happening in real world. Today degree is nothing, you need skill and experience. You need to be recognized. Internet is copying this trend. And this will grow.
And it’s growing so fast that we can’t stay always informed about the newest issues online. It’s hard to care about online safety nowadays, because the trend is too fast. And I think Insafe is doing great think when extending the program to not just care about online safety, but generally to care about world online. It’s a strategy, where you can stay updated about whole internet issue, not just online safety.
I’m really interested in hearing your views and opinions on this.