The internet can be a scary place. Even scarier if you let your imagine conjure up all the things your kids could be getting up to (or getting exposed to) the minute they go online.
Unfortunately, these concerns aren’t unfounded. With more than one in three young Australians having experienced cyber threats online, it’s little wonder cyber bulling is considered a serious problem nation-wide, particularly among young people.
So how can we educate young Australians on how to navigate the darker side of the online world?
It’s a question ‘Australia’s youth-driven movement against bullying’, Project Rockit, faces every day, and has done since its inception in 2006.
Since then, the organisation claims to have visited over 150,000 young people at their schools discussing issues such as bullying (particularly online) as well as issues such as fitting in, being different, social labels, empathy, cultural background and gender and identity.
“The bulk of our work is running interactive workshops in schools. Basically, we send presenters into both primary and secondary schools, where they run workshops talking about bullying in a credible way young people actually engage with,” Caitlin Wood, Project Rockit’s head of programs, told The Huffington Post Australia.
“We find students actually want to talk about this stuff in school and talk about social labels and talk about it in a real way and, through that, connect with their peers as well. When it comes to cyber bullying and hate online — as well as the rise of social media, with new platforms being developed all the time — they are just surrounded.”
According to Wood, while there is an increasing awareness surrounding the issue of cyber bullying, it is also a problem that’s on the rise, particularly in regional areas.
“People are more aware of cyber bullying. People see it and they identify it,” Wood said. “But where it used to be one in six young Australians reported incidents of online bullying, it’s now one in three. To read more click here.