We're showing our support in the fight against cyberbullying, and we want you to get involved too. Here's how you can #BeStrong and share the love...
Technology can be a double-edged sword. While helping us stay more connected than ever, smartphones, tablets and social networks have also aided in the spread of cyberbullying. It’s a hot topic, and there’s loads we can all do to help, which is why we’re launching a huge new collection of resources, activities and videos designed to help kids of all ages be more confidently connected.
So what’s involved? And how can you use what’s on offer to feel safer and happier online? Read on for all the details…
Calling all ‘Tech Trainers’
In one of the largest surveys ever undertaken on the topic, we asked almost 5,000 teens from around the world a simple question: have you ever been cyberbullied? In the UK, one in six said they had, with 45% saying they thought it was a bigger problem than drug abuse among young people. That’s a lot of bullying, and a lot of people suffering in silence. But we think we can help.
#BeStrong Online is a massive project that aims to do just that, and because we’ve worked with so many experts in the field of cyberbullying, we want it to make a real difference. There’ll be lots more on this to discuss in the coming weeks, but today’s news is all about our work with The Diana Award – a charity that believes children have the power to change the future.
We know that a lot of cyberbullying starts in the schoolyard, which is why we’re taking the fight against it straight to the classroom. Working with the Diana Award, we’ve created a set of learning resources that’ll help teens feel safer online.
How does it work? Well, we’ve got modules in a wide range of topics that teachers can go through with a select group of students, who’ll then become ‘Tech Trainers’ – teenage tech experts who can spread out and relay the messages found in each module to their peers.
The full range of subjects on offer are: Be Strong Online, Managing Family Online Rules, Coding & Creativity, Selfies, Your First Phone, Apps, Digital Footprint, Privacy, Power of Play, and Social Networks – and they’re all designed to get kids talking about the realities of using tech in the modern world. You can find out lots more here.
Show your support
We’ve also worked with Dacher Keltner – the psychologist who acted as consultant for the Pixar film Inside Out – and anti-bullying ambassador Monica Lewinsky to create a new set of emojis that aim to help spread our anti-cyberbullying message, and you can help us donate simply by sharing them!
The emojis’ job is to help people to show support when more than words are needed – like a message of support to a bullied friend, or a handshake to bridge digital divides. If you want to show your support, simply head on over to our Twitter channel or Facebook page and RT, like or share our posts with the emoji images and the Vodafone Foundation will donate 10p to a fund of up to £100,000 that will be shared by a group of charities supporting the victims of cyberbullying.
We’ve been speaking to Dacher about the thinking behind these support emojis, and we’ll be posting our interview with him soon, so stay tuned for more!
And just one more thing…
Now in its fourth year, the Vodafone UK’s Digital Parenting Magazine is back, and it’s absolutely stuffed full of insight, research, advice and guidance for parents unsure about how to help their kids get the best out of the internet – safely and securely.
Inside, you’ll find pieces from digital experts, including psychologist and government advisor Dr Linda Papadopoulos and Dr Andy Przybylski from the Oxford Internet Institute, along with useful tips about everything from social networks to games consoles. And the best bit? It’s totally free.
Made in association with The Parent Zone, The Digital Parenting Magazine’s 1 million print run will see copies distributed to schools, NGOs, government bodies and it will soon be available in Vodafone stores around the country. Can’t pick one up in person? No worries – the whole magazine is free to read, save or print online at http://vodafonedigitalparenting.co.uk/
More where that came from… As always, you can find loads more great content on the topic of cyberbullying and online safety under Vodafone Social’s Family Zone hub. And be sure to stay tuned for our interview with Dacher Keltner about how we made our support emojis, and why they’re so important.