Talk 1: Navigating through the dark side of digital technology
Problem 1: Broken families, broken youth
The critical issue of the large number of young people between the ages of 10 and 35 that are poorly educated, unemployed and who succumbed to social ills (drugs & crime) is a matter that required urgent, comprehensive and innovative thinking.
Only one-third of South African children live with both of their biological parents. Statistics paint a picture of a majority of our children growing up in disrupted family environments, and have serious implications on several fronts. In South Africa the 9.7 million young people, of which approximately 3.5 million are unemployed (National Youth Policy, 2015) are exposed to diverse factors that result in behaviours that place them at risk, e.g. violence, substance abuse, risky sexual behaviour, physical inactivity, etc. (MRC report, 2010). Porn, sexting, cyber bullying, on-line grooming, internet addiction and cyber safety are added issues our children have to deal with everyday. No child will tell a parent they are addicted to pornography or that they visit online sex chat sites. The explosion of technology during the past 15 years has led to unprecedented opportunities and challenges for us all. Digital technology now affects just about everything.
Problem 2: Trying to keep up with Technological changes
Technological changes have always created challenges for parents. As early as the 1920s, parents were lamenting new technology: the automobile and the telephone created unsurpassed social freedoms for teenagers. It made parents feel like they were losing control and influence over their children. Today, the primary concern of worried parents is the unlimited access media technologies have to family life. It is difficult, if not impossible, for parents to monitor and control all of the varied messages and images that reach children through the continuous waves of technology. Technologies reduce the legitimacy of parental influence while increasing influences from unknown and often unwanted sources. Parents feel like the technological world that confronts them and their children is different than the world in which they were raised. What are the pitfalls that you need to know about?
In this talk you will be presented with eye-opening statistics from research done in South Africa that will paint a picture of the world our teens and tweens live in. We will also provide you with information on various platforms, issues young people struggle with and tip on how you as parent or educator can deal with that. A live demonstration of the solutions MOBIEG offers will also be done.
With government resources overrun by demand, the problem we are trying to solve is the timely provision of preventative counseling and interventions to assist young people in an effort to combat and prevent and minimize difficult to resolve crisis situations. Young people ‘live’ online so that is where assistance is mostly required. If they need help, young people turn to friends for often incorrect advice. In a crisis, many young people are too ashamed, or unable to make that call and in their darkest hour.
Technology like internet, computers and smart devices can be seen as service enablers and can provide services in new ways. The idea to provide a medium where anybody can have access to counselling by using a cell-phone lead to the birth of MOBIEG in 2010, who through innovative technology, developed and provided a cost-effective medium to reach people online in real-time, nationally and internationally.
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