Safer Internet Day and Social Media Tips for Students

Welcome back to the start of the new school year. A very warm welcome to our new students and families to the Bethany community.

 

Tuesday 8 February was Safer Internet Day. Safer Internet Day 2022 celebrates young people’s role in creating a safer internet, whether that is whilst gaming and creating content, or interacting with their friends and peers. The theme for 2022 is ‘Play it Fair online’.  

 The esafety Commissioner  website has some wonderful resources for parents and students to use. The esafety website is designed to help Australians have safer and more positive experiences online.

As students begin to get back into the routine of school, homework and extracurricular activities,  it is important for students to limit their social media usage.  Below are 5 simple ways for students to tame their social media usage. Reducing useage on social media will free up time for students to spend on other things and help them to be more focused.

1.      Keep apps out of sight, so they’re out of mind

Try moving your apps away from the home screen and into folders to avoid overindulging.

You can also turn off notifications for specific apps in your settings, so you’re not constantly tempted to open apps. You could also turn off data (or switch your phone to airplane mode).

2.  Use apps to help you limit your time on social media

Using an app to reduce your time spent on apps may seem strange, but there are many apps and features that can help you to limit your social media use.

  • Forest allows you to set a period of time (say, 20 minutes) when you commit not to use your phone. During that time, a digital plant will grow in the app. If you use your phone at this time, Forest sends you a notification to get off the app or your plant will die!
  • Daywise lets you schedule times for receiving notifications, so that they’re not constantly distracting you.
  • The Do Not Disturb feature on the iPhone silences all calls and notifications (such as vibrations or the screen lighting up) when the phone is locked.
  • On Instagram, under ‘Your activity’ in account settings, you can see how much time you spend daily using the app. To reduce your usage, set a daily reminder that notifies you when you’ve reached the amount of time you’ve decided to spend on the app.
  • In Settings on iPhone, you can turn on ‘Screen Time’, which will give you reports on your phone usage and allow you to set limits on your use.

3.      Spend an hour a week on at least one screen-free hobby

4.      Enjoy a phone-free dinner

The best part of going out to dinner is catching up with friends. You’ve put aside the time to spend with your friends – make the most of it!

5.      Leave your phone outside the bedroom

Sharing your bed with a bright and shiny phone is a guaranteed way to interrupt your sleep. Instead of scrolling through social media before hitting the pillow, try leaving your phone on the charger, outside your bedroom.

 

Mary Matthews

Leader of Wellbeing