The age at which children and young people become interested in mobile phones, the Internet and online games is constantly falling. They find learning to use new media easy and intuitive. The challenge for parents is ensuring that their offspring know how to use the Internet safely and understand the risks, without limiting their scope for exploring. Many parents feel overwhelmed by the scale of the task and want some kind of support, as demonstrated by the growing demand for the Swisscom information sessions provided at parents' evenings and in schools.
In response, Swisscom has today launched the new media smart platform, which helps parents by providing simple guidelines and practical tips for making children media savvy. First parents take a short test to determine their parenting style: do they always apply strict rules, or are they flexible in responding to their children's needs? Based on their parenting style, parents can then access more detailed content, such as online media training on the subjects of screen time, privacy and online games. The media smart website focuses on typical day-to-day situations, with the assistance of a number of families who tell us how digital media fit into their lives and what challenges they present. For example: how do you deal with the fact that smartphones are always on? How is your child's privacy protected when they communicate with friends on Facebook? How can you reasonably limit time spent playing games without incessant arguments?
The new platform is one more element in Swisscom's commitment to promoting media skills. "It is important to teach children and young people how to use these new media responsibly. We are therefore focusing on promoting media skills. Parents have a vital role to play, because knowing how to make good use of digital media makes it easier for parents to help children use those media safely," comments Michael In Albon, Youth Media Officer at Swisscom.
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