To mark Safer Internet Day on Tuesday 7 February, we’re taking a look at how we make our online spaces healthy, productive and safe for everyone.
The Upside to Disruption
The last few years have certainly been disruptive, but have you also experienced an upside to all this change?
If you can remember a time when you hadn’t heard the terms “Covid”, “Coronavirus”, or “social isolation”, then you may also remember when people only ever worked in their workplace, and meetings were always held face to face. The “olden days” some might say!
Image: Fusion Western Sydney Online School Holiday Program
Now, the expectation is that you can work from almost anywhere and there’s sure to be someone dialing-in to your next meeting, even when they are meant to be face to face.
Our capacity to learn and change has been amazing and our hunger to keep finding new ways to connect continues to grow.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
How many of us are connecting online? How about we let the numbers do the talking?
Here are some stats for you, (thanks to Social Media Perth):
- The global population is 8 billion people.
- There are 5.48 billion unique mobile phone users in the world. (April 2022)
- 5.07 billion people use the internet.
- 4.74 billion active social media users in the world. That’s nearly 60% of the world’s population! (Oct 2022)
- In total, the world spent more than 12.5 trillion hours online in 2022 alone.
Connecting is Good for Us
Being connected to other people is good for our mental, emotional and physical health. When Robert Putnam’s book “Bowling Alone: the Collapse and Revival of American Community” was published over 20 years ago, it helped us understand the importance of sharing our lives with other people. Being part of a group, whether a sporting team, chess club, walking group or family, actually impacts our health positively.
The converse is also true; living in isolation is no good for our long-term health.
This is where the internet has been a game-changer for so many people – especially in the last three years. The ability to virtually talk, play, work and even create together, helped many of us survive the times when we couldn’t be physically together.
And now, it’s giving us more flexibility to continue collaborating with others, sharing our ideas, and skills and resources, working together in ways we could never have dreamed of only a few years ago.
Safer Internet Day – Connect. Reflect. Protect.
So, we all have an investment in making sure that the internet is a safe place for everyone. But how?
We’re getting behind the 20th Safer Internet Day on 7 February and encourage you to think about how you, your family and colleagues can be part of creating a safer online space for everyone too.
What Does it Mean?
Connect safely and with purpose – by keeping apps and devices secure and using social media in positive ways.
Reflect before we act – by taking a moment to consider how what we do and say online may affect others.
Protect ourselves and others by acting – tell family, friends or colleagues about eSafety and visit esafety.gov.au for advice, support and to report online abuse.
We can all be part of making the internet a safe space, where we can be connected, share resource and bring out the best in each other.
Together there’s life!
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