Despite their young age, the Northern Ireland WYRED group of children is very clear-headed about the online world.
They were asked to share their thoughts on the positives and the negatives of the cyberspace and that is what came out.
They do like how easy it is to interact with their friends and families through, for example, FaceTime, Skype and WhatsApp. No matter how far you are, these new means of communication make you able to stay in touch with the people you love.
“You can shop online”, a child says and “it is a great way to pass the time”.
The entire group agrees on it. The online world is very entertaining: you can listen to the music, watch video on YouTube and play online games with your friends.
The cyberspace also satisfies your curiosities: “I like being able to research on google”, “I like that I can see different places around the world and what they are like”, “It gives you an idea of other stuff that is going on around the world”.
Anyway, the children are not deceived by the bright side of the online world. On the contrary, they are aware of the risks hiding behind the computer screen.
They don’t like that personal information concerning them can be easily seen from people they don’t know. They feel their data are exposed to several dangers: “People can find your digital footprint and work out what websites you have visited”, “bad people can put a virus on your device”, “I don’t like that you can get hacked“.
These children don’t feel safe due to the the lack of privacy: “I don’t like that other people can be rude and see where you live”. They fear they can be tricked and, of course, the risk of Cyberbullying is just around the corner.
They can also run into some harmless trouble, such as lagging, a wifi that doesn’t work, or annoying and inappropriate ads coming on during a video.