Social media influencers encouraged internet users to be responsible online, during the ‘Influencers’ Roundtable’ segment of the Flow Foundation’s Safer Internet Day (SID) Virtual Teen Summit on Tuesday afternoon.
Quite Perry, quite popular on social media platforms, urged users to “hold yourself responsible” whether sharing posts on their feeds or responding to posts, while leading off the discussion that centred around the global SID theme, ‘Together for a Better Internet’.
SID, the main event on the online safety calendar, was celebrated Tuesday in approximately 130 countries worldwide, focusing on the importance of digital responsibility and the measures people, specifically the young and seniors, should employ when using the internet.
Perry implored users to take command of their space, noting that while they can do uncomplicated things to escape cyberbullying like “ignoring the comments”, they could also “block” unwanted advances.
“Not all comments that are made [on your posts] merit a response,” said Perry, who advised “if you can’t take the pressure [of social media], get off. You are not compelled to stay online if it does not serve you.”
Singh Zima, a content creator with a growing base on Tik Tok and Instagram, said while “it gets difficult sometimes, you must block the negativity. You must have a life outside of social media.”
The discussion was vibrant and thought-provoking with the lone female panellist, Tanaania, sharing on the consequence of online dating, which allows “everybody [to] know your business and believe [that] they can have a say in your life”. To protect oneself, she advised that one should “live your personal life offline, don’t share information that you don’t want people to know.”
Tanaania also encouraged vigilance if persons choose to meet in person after connecting online.
“Call first, as you can pick up some things about the person [in this manner]; meet in a public space, don’t just go out and jump into someone’s car; text a friend and share the location online, and don’t go and drink too much,”
said the digital media influencer.
Devaraine Rowe, VP Services and Special Projects, UWI Mona Guild of Students, shared that while the COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique challenges, they continue “to engage students to see how we can come up with the best means to overcome.”
Continuing, Rowe explained: “Especially in this time students are looking to us for guidance, students are looking to us for some sort of protection in a sense because most of our students at the University of the West Indies are online, 70 per cent actually. So they’re looking towards our social media pages.
“So before, if we would have had say 1,000 followers on Instagram, we’re looking to gain an additional 1,000 followers so that more students can be engaged and actively participate with us as student leaders,”
The ‘Influencers’ Roundtable’ was preceded by messages from Flow Jamaica’s Country Manager, Stephen Price, Fayval Williams, Minister of Education, Youth and Information and The Daryl Vaz, Minister of Science, Energy & Technology and a Fireside Chat with youth leaders and the Jamaica Constabulary Force.