Monitor children’s internet use - Organisation advises parents

BY: Abigail Sedinam Kortiah

The Woman Called She, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has advised parents to pay particular attention to what their children do online to prevent them from being exposed to injurious content.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NGO, Ms Elsie Boateng, said it was important for parents to know what their children were doing online due to the various dangers, especially on social media.

The dangers include cyberbullying, sexting, pornography, contents that portray violence and cybercrime, which could have negative impact on the children.

“In a drive to curb the dangers of social media, parents have a lot to do. As much as it is easier to give them the space to be on social media platforms so that we can also relax, there is a lot of danger.

“So the advice to parents is to watch what our children are doing on social media, especially the girls. Do impromptu checks, talk to them, let’s get close to the girls so that when there are any issues like cyberbullying and sexting, we can step in and be a support,” Ms Boateng advised.

Anniversary forum

The NGO, which is into women and girls empowerment through education, advocacy and support organised a forum to mark its first anniversary.

The event was organised at the Armed Forces Senior High Technical School (AFSHTS) last Wednesday on the theme “Social media and the adolescent girl,” with the aim of educating the girls, particularly on the pros and cons of social media use on them.

Ms Boateng shared many facets of social media use with the students, highlighting social media platforms such as Twitter, Tiktok, Instagram, WhatsApp, among others.

She educated the adolescents on “Why social media exists?” “Gender and social media”, “Dangers of social media” and “Risk of excessive social media use”.

Ms Boateng told the young audience that even though social media was not a bad thing, the excessive use of its space was what posed danger such as “posting”, “comparing”, oversexualisation”, “distraction from life goals”,” making viral video attempts” and “deaths”.

She said there were other risks such as “anxiety and depression”, “low self-esteem”, “sleep deprivation”, “envy”, “lack of socialisation skills”, saying, “the more social media you use, the more negative feelings you experience.”

Ms Boateng stressed the impact excessive social media use could have on them such as hampering their future endeavours.

Interview

In an interview, Ms Boateng said the talk was the first in a series of talks on social media and as part of the many projects the organisation had, they planned on speaking to girls in six more schools next year.

The Senior Housemistress of the AFSHTS, Mrs Winifred Ninlaara, who is also in charge of the girls in the school, expressed appreciation to the facilitators for the event.