Matthew O’Driscoll who has been working with the Safer Internet Day Youth Panel over the last year spoke to the Dundalk Democrat about the importance of Safer Internet Day.
The Youth Panel consists of a number of young people who have experience on the subject and who can offer advice to other young people.
Matthew himself has had significant experience dealing with the media and believes that this work is vital.
“I think it’s very important as the world is constantly advancing, faster than we can record.
“As well as getting more and more benefits from the internet as it develops, unfortunately we get more dangers and preventing these dangers before they affect us is crucial as we continue to use it.”
Matthew has taken part in national Irish events and is a Youth Ambassador with Vivendi.
“I’ve taken part in events such as the Digital Youth Symposium”, Matthew told the Democrat, “and in October I travelled to Brussels as Ireland’s youth representative for the Safer Internet Forum.
“More and more youths are using the internet and don’t think of the repercussions,” Matthew adds.
“Using anonymous sites to gang up on people isn’t cool.”
This year there will be a focus on the attitudes of bystanders and the panel will be encouraging teenagers to report incidents of bullying they witness online and advising them on how to go about it.
Internet Safety Day is organised by Webwise, the Internet Safety initiative of the Safer Internet Ireland Project.
Webwise provides information and resources in four specific areas, surfing, chatting, sharing and gaming to teachers, parents and students to help ensure that children and young people have positive and safe on-line experiences.
For more information visit their web site at www.webwise.ie