What do you think of T Mobile

Et toi, t’en penses quoi?

Today it is impossible to imagine young people without the Internet without them. This medium is used by young people for entertainment, to look for information, to exchange e-mails and above all to visit social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr ...). The social networks represent a huge advantage for the young person for his socialization, and this in accordance with the physical places in which he develops. Today a virtual address and a pseudonym are part of identity. The youth use these technologies to build and maintain relationships. They communicate with each other continuously. So they can continue their conversations on their smartphone immediately after school and arrange a meeting on their favorite social network as soon as they are home. The currently best known and most widely used network is Facebook. In the network founded in 2004, information (photos, links, texts, etc.) can be published, the visibility of which can be controlled by filters. In 2012, 6,000,000 Belgians and nearly 620 million people worldwide had a Facebook account. It makes little sense at this point to go into the various social networks in more detail, as new networks are on the advance at the moment. Everything is quickly outdated on the Internet.

Even if many today recognize that the Internet is an inexhaustible source of knowledge and discovery, but also of social contacts, it still seems essential to bring young people closer to the advantages and dangers of using the Internet - and the associated social networks. We will also look at the limits of self-esteem and respect for others, as well as the concepts of private and public life.

On this website there are three further subject areas in this sense: “Deciphering media”, “Relationship and emotional life” and “Addiction”.

What to look for in an animation:

  • Be sure to keep an eye on the goals set beforehand so as not to get caught up in a discussion of technological issues, which young people are often better informed about than adults, and which aim to move closer to the topic of self-respect and self-respect of the counterpart in exchange.
  • This topic can evoke memories of painful or even traumatic experiences. We advise the animator to refer the young person to specialists from PMS, the school health care service or the family planning center.

Social networks

What is a social network? The term social network refers to a group of individuals who are related to one another. We didn't wait for the internet to join forces in networks: these networks have always existed because humans are social beings (Aristotle). Wikipedia also teaches us that “the social network has existed since people formed societies. The social network can take a more organized or institutional, professional or entertaining form, paid or free ”.

Today this term is used in particular to refer to online networks that have expanded rapidly over the past decade. They are open to the general public and offer new ways of networking (remote and asynchronous) and sharing (photos, music, videos, etc.).

Belonging to a social network always means using a certain communication style and a certain code of conduct for its members.

The youngsters: all logged in

In social networks, far from the control of parents, adults or other persons of authority, young people can express their individuality and identity, but they can also be part of a social group. “Being logged in all the time” is the new kind of relationship between young people, they communicate permanently. Amazingly, however, many young people nowadays no longer have an e-mail address: “What is that good for? We communicate via Facebook! ”The social networks are sufficient for communication. What power emanates from this tool!

Social networks are available everywhere and the young people have a connection wherever they are, via their smartphone, tablet PC or laptop. In 2012, 93% of families with children had an Internet connection, of which 33% of families used a smartphone and 14% a tablet PC. According to CRIOC, in 2011 91% of young people between 10 and 17 years of age had a cell phone and thus a possible mobile Internet connection.

The conversations that began in the school yard in the bus and later at home are continued. For today's young people there is no longer any difference between the virtual and the real world: The friends in the playground are often the ones you meet again at home on the social network. Real and virtual social networks have merged into a single network. Nevertheless, the behavior of two young people who talk face to face is not the same as in front of the screen: This makes them more courageous, more honest and gives the impression of being inviolable. However, this is not the case ...

Building identity

The young person goes through a period of doubt and physical and psychological changes. He is in search of himself, and in order to find himself, he makes use of his environment, his friends and the adults around him. But “around him” doesn't just mean “physical” flesh and blood clues. To form his identity, the young person also resorts to the virtual world and in particular to social networks. Thanks to the possibilities of the Internet, it is easier for him to form an opinion on various topics that he might never have thought about in his “real” life (or IRL - In Real Life - in Internet language). The social networks and other communication platforms (for example forums) are opportunities for young people to show them sides that they do not show elsewhere. Why? Among other things because the internet guarantees a certain anonymity and things that happen in the virtual world don't seem to have any consequences. And finally because everything is within a “click distance” there. The young person can choose his friends, his circle of friends, share his opinion or areas of interest via the social network. It's easier to socialize or join an online conversation than in a conversation in the playground, where the shy ones might be left alone. During the conversations on the Internet, the young person finds it easy to express himself and to receive feedback, which has a positive effect on his self-esteem. He can also create a more favorable profile (distant or close to his "real" identity) to please or give himself a certain style, just as he can enroll in sports clubs to belong to certain groups or wear clothes, that are currently "in".

The young person is looking for himself and builds his identity and self-confidence in the real AND in the virtual world. This most sensitive period in life is particularly critical in that adolescents can quickly lose their balance, all the faster with the Internet, through which things move at breakneck speed. True or false information, a disclosure, an insult, a mocking video published on the Internet has a greater reach and thus a destructive effect on the young person in his self-discovery process than a video that circulates in the "real" world. We all know anecdotes and derailments from young people: an insulting e-mail, the distribution of intimate photos, a dirty campaign, intimidation and even serious threats. A thing one was proud of can become the mockery of many. The opposite also works, however: you can get a good reputation or recognition thanks to a simple video, for example.

Self-respect and respect for one's counterpart

Respect can be defined as the feeling of appreciation, admiration for someone. It is also the expression of that admiration. It can be respect for a person, but it can also be the keeping of a promise, a contract or the keeping of Acting game or society rules.

The concept of respect has an important meaning when it comes to social networks. Hiding behind a screen, the young person is not always aware of the consequences and limits of freedom of expression. Not everything can be said on the internet. Also, language in a forum or message can sometimes be ambiguous or misunderstood, as opposed to face-to-face expressions.

Everyone has the right to respect and respect, but everyone defines respect according to their own criteria: what is disrespectful for one may not be for the other. So before you post something, you have to ask yourself what the other might think of it and know that they can react differently (to a comment, a video). Asking yourself the question of what you are ready to accept is a start, but not enough: you also have to consider the situation of your counterpart.

Responsibility on the Internet

In addition to the concept of respect, another key concept appears in this subject area: responsibility. Expressing yourself through a screen and keyboard can create feelings of detachment, distance, and even irresponsibility. You feel protected behind the screen, in contrast to a direct discussion in which the person you are talking to receives the verbal and non-verbal reactions of the other person directly.

In addition, the Internet spreads information very quickly, uses small elements to create hype, and spreads gossip. Internet users and especially social networks are not always aware of the consequences of their publications, whether they are comments, videos or photos. Things that are believed to be private and intimate and only shared with a small circle of friends can be spread out in front of everyone at the same time they are snatched away by their owner. A simple comment can generate dozens of reactions, both positive and negative. And once the information has been posted, it is often too late to limit the damage.

However, the right to one's own image, the protection of private life, the protection of personal data ... are part of the legislation on Internet use. In this sense, it is good to make everyone's responsibility an issue on the Internet without, however, demonizing its use.

For more information on Belgian legislation on privacy and new technologies, click on the links below:

The snowball effect on the internet

There are many examples of the snowball effect on social networks. Both positively (teaming up for a good cause, collecting testimonials or signatures, organizing a flash mob ...) and negatively (spreading a rumor, compromising photos ...), information posted on the social network can take on dimensions that the young person cannot is clear, with the consequences mentioned above.

A compromising photo can be viewed and shared hundreds of times before the person concerned is even aware of it. Whether it is carelessness or an act of which one was not aware of the consequences, the Internet hardly cares and only disseminates the information and the associated comments.

After all, it is not uncommon for rumors from the Internet to be spread within a school and vice versa, for example “Christina is apparently pregnant”. Well founded or unfounded, rumors can hurt. They are disrespectful and can have unforeseen consequences for the young person. Even if this phenomenon has always existed, it is still being fueled by the Internet and its ability to disseminate information quickly.