Blog 16 Jun 2017

Darsej Rizaj

Feedback about the game Blue Whale and how to protect children from such dangers

It has been two months since the Blue Whale became part of the discussion in our regular staff meetings. Each week it is discussed whether we should open a debate in class about this game and believe me it has not been easy to make a decision.

The reason is the possible stimulation of curiosity to research and find out what this game is considering the sensitive age of children and the need to explore forbidden things, which in this case through information technology makes it very easily accessible. However, there is a lot of discussions that this game could even be another fake news!

But now considering that the news about this game in Kosovo spread with great speed through the attention it received from the media, it is necessary to hold a special education class with all students of the Digital School about the possible dangers of these games.

Considering that the Digital School educates more than 600 children about information technology, during the coming week, more specifically on Monday and Tuesday, all the instructors of the School will hold a special education class where they will be treated seriously high risk from this game as well as from online presence, as well as ways to react and defend. We suggest that all schools do the same.

However, parents have a special emphasis on dealing with these topics. The Blue Whale is just one of the dangers that have become popular now, but it does not neglect all the other dangers that affect the mental health of children during the online presence.

In order to help in this regard, we are listing some tips for parents that we think are necessary to apply with young children who own smartphones and have access to the Internet.

Parents should constantly analyze their children's profile on social networks especially Facebook and Instagram. "I do not know how it is possible for girls aged 9 to 15 to have pictures with provocative clothes and images which do not belong at all to their ages and boys with profile pictures as weapons and money"!

Analyze their children's online society, find out who they are connected to on social media, and not allow contact with strangers.

Maintain constant and open communication with their children.

Give children the freedom and space they need to express themselves and express their concerns with the utmost sincerity. Do not do only counselor and critic!

Limit and control their children's online presence.

Try to understand the concerns of children which are related to the time we are living and not make comparisons with the time of their childhood. Constantly educate yourself about digital trends and discuss them with children, as it is the part where children are most connected.

Parents need to understand that the social pressure that children have from social networks is many times greater than the social pressure for a status in society that they had in their time. This type of pressure directly affects children's mental health such as complexes or depression. It is extremely important to discuss such topics openly in the family setting.

It is very important to talk about how dangerous it is to talk to anonymous people online. It should be noted that a person hiding behind the screen most of the time does not have good intentions. It should be noted that allowing a conversation with anonymous persons endangers not only the interlocutor but also other family members.

Particular care should be taken in sharing private information. Children need to understand that posting a Check-in or a photo can tell a lot about family assets and current presence, which can be easily misused by someone.

Our mission is to educate children in the effective use of information technology. However, the cooperation of parents in this regard is necessary.