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How the digital age is affecting the wellbeing of children and young people.

The digital age has changed the world we knew forever - and it is changing how we live our lives faster and faster. Google was a small start up in 1998, Facebook in 2004, Twitter in 2006. There was no such thing as an Apple Iphone before 2007. Instagram entered the stage in 2010, WeChat in 2011 and TikTok in 2016.

20 years ago we mostly had one home phone and the early mobile phones commonly nicknamed 'bricks' because they were so large, Yes, many of us had a computer by then, but we could access the internet only by a cable attached to the wall.

If you remember dial-up to connect to the internet you are officially old and the children of today have no idea what it was. Back then it was slow, dropped out constantly and expensive. WiFi entered the world stage in 1997 but very few people could access it until well after the year 2000 and only in the last few years has it become something everyone expects to have or be able to access.

This revolution in how we access information, learn, read and play has happened in less than one generation and improvements make it faster and more accessible everyday.

It is almost like our children (or certainly our grandchildren) speak another language. They can access so much information in seconds - and it is a nightmare for parents and educators as to how to manage that flow of information and whether it is appropriate for various age groups.

Parents are struggling with how to manage this endless, fast flow of information to their children.

But how are children managing? How does it affect them in their learning, their social interactions and networks, their self esteem.

I have attached an excellent booklet produced by the OECD and I heartily recommend you have a read if you have young children or teenager or have the job of teaching them.

Download • 6.27MB

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