This post is written in conjunction with Trend Micro
We hear so much of the horrible horribleness, the scary stories, the cyber bullying and all the sad rest of it that goes on in cyberspace.
Sexting and breakups by text, accounts hacked by ‘friends’ and people just being not very nice at all.
Of course, being safe and informed about internet safety is extremely important for kids, and adults – of course. It just doesn’t need to be all doom, gloom and paedophiles.
With my penchant for looking on the bright side – for which I blame my parents and their forcing me to watch Monty Python as a child – I do get a little overwhelmed and weighted down by all the ‘bad’ stuff we have shoved down our throats on a daily basis.
It’s not ALL like that. There are, indeedy, many lovely, happy, smiley and fabulous experiences that happen on the ‘net.
I myself have had many a supportive and/or pants wetting moment due to excessive laughter from inappropriate-yet-so-appropriate texts and private messages, autocorrect disasters and sending my friends text that contain a single, rude word because I am so mature and sophisticated and I know it will make them snort laugh.
I have made a great number of the most amazing friends and, subsequently, shared many great moments with them.
Oh, and I get to share my writing and videos and stuff. Mostly, it’s been super cool.
With my kids now on multiple devices because a) apparently it is a rite of passage and b) for school purposes, I’ve had to undergo a great number of Online Safety Discussions, and walk that fine line between freaking them out completely and turning them into hermits, and using the internet and mobile devices safely and sensibly.
So I really do like this initiative by Trend Micro who want kids aged 8-18 to share their story; their positive, inspiring (but not necessarily sickly sweet vomit inducing inspiring), happy and/or successful stories.
Whilst it is still all about internet safety and being all sensible and responsible and stuff, it also shows how kids CAN and DO use the internet in a positive, safe, sensible and responsible manner.
We don’t give kids enough credit for that, I don’t think.
It will also hopefully rub off on to the ratbags, the minority but whom we are most likely to hear about, showing them that they, too, can be sensible, safe and positive online.
Maybe, maybe, the kids will also use their mobile devices for actually doing homework! But not holding my breath.
Anyhoo, The 2nd-6th of June is the 7th annual Australian Stay Smart Online Week, aimed at educating Australians on how to best protect themselves online, including on our mobile phones and tablets.
Given how rapidly mobile devices are infiltrating our homes and becoming an established part of our lives – we do hear so much about the risks and negative aspects of kids being online, but not so much about the positive and successful bits … and Trend Micro want to hear about it.
From the kids. Apparently, we’re far to
old and decrepit mature, sophisticated and growed up to participate … but the kids can join in the fun.
To get them started:
1. Nag them incessantly about being involved in this awesomeness (because I want to see some happy out there);
2. Sing to them and tell them you will continue to sing until they … actually, wait … this is pretty cool, I think they’ll want to do it.
So … to get started:
1. Visit http://whatsyourstory.trendmicro.com.au/ for more info, the T&C, how to submit Your Story, eligibility etc …;
2. Research – ooh, that sounded scary – um, have a read of the papers, listen to the radio and parents and old ladies at cafes and see what’s being said about internet safety and internet usage, chat to your friends about their fears as well as the good stuff;
3. Create a video or poster to share your positive story – plan them out, as they’ll be judged on creativeness, appropriateness and effectiveness (no video of your Mum’s bum!)
4. How are you going to market your creation? Making the video or poster is the first step, the second is how well you get it out and viewer ratings count.
5. Go … now … and do all of that and feel free to post your links and/or what you’re up to in the comments … I’d love to know what the kids are creating for the benefit of spreading good.
Oh, yeah, and you’ll be in the running to win a share in over $4000 worth of prizes – or, you know, your kids will *sigh*