Cyber Wellness Seminar
Facing a new reality…
Local newspapers reported recently about "internet junkie children" (The Star, 7 August 2010) and the "World Wide Worry" (New Straits Times, 18 July 2010). In Malaysia, 60% of the population is already online. The percentage is probably higher if we take into account the widespread use of smartphones like the iPhone and Blackberry.
The reality is that the younger generation is spending more time online and parents either do not have a clue, or are unsure of, what is going on out there in the cyber world. This is a clear and present danger.
Hence, on 24 September 2010, NECF invited Generasi Gemilang's Cyber Wellness team to address such issues and to provide some guidance to both adults and youth in Malaysia. Around 50 people (consisting of pastors, leaders and NECF staff) attended this talk. The aim of Cyber Wellness is to bridge the digital divide between adults and the young people they care for so that they can mentor them better.
The talk was divided into three parts. The first part looked at how to develop a balance and holistic lifestyle (on and off Internet). A family is considered "healthy" if:
- The children are aware of the potential dangers on the Internet and take responsibility to protect themselves, their siblings & friends.
- The parents understand the Internet world and know how to guide their children/students to use it positively.
The second part of the talk covered primary dangers faced by both parents and the digital generation e.g. gamingaddiction, cyber-bullying, the dangers of pornography; and how to respect and maintain one's privacy in everything from blogs and emails to Facebook and other forms of social media. The team also provided ways to equip young people to protect themselves and their friends online. The pervasiveness of Internet today in the advent of mobile phones were also covered.
The final part looked at the cyber world as an opportunity to touch and mentor the next generation. It is not just about viruses and privacy issues, it is actually more about the person, and their relationships with friends and family. Using the example of a person wanting to go to China to work would at least try to study Chinese language, a person who wants to impact the next generation must be familiar with the cyber world. Parents and youth are challenged to use the Internet positively for their personal life, family life, relationships with others and ultimately God's kingdom-building.
NECF considers the Cyber Wellness programme an important part of nation-building. Churches must seriously look at the cyber world as part of nation-building especially among the emerging digital generation.
Check out www.GenGemilang.org for more details about the Cyber Wellness programmes. If you would like to invite the team to conduct a Cyber Wellness session in your school, college, church or even town hall, please get in touch with info@GenGemilang.org or 03-7960 4982. The team typically conducts sessions for adults and youth separately. They have been doing these sessions since October 2008 and to date, more than 5000 people have attended their sessions.