Now, Cultivating Digital Intelligence Is As Important As Ethics

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Mr. Tumnus

Mr. Tumnus, a gullible faun whom we proceeded to love, initially showcased a flaw in his otherwise honourable character. In the Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, we are acquainted with this faun, who tries to lure Lucy because of the orders of the White Witch. We witness him enticing her, the daughter of Eve, and trying to sell her off to the cruel Witch. However, he appeals and adheres to his better character and decides against it, while also helping Lucy get away from the magical land safely.

However, how many others would not take the opportunity of the innocence of small kids? How many of the nasty people will not prey on the trustworthiness of a kid? How many of them actually turn out to be, as honest and honourable as Mr. Tumnus?

The social and economic impact of technology is widespread and accelerating with literally every single click. The speed and volume of information has increased exponentially over the years, and will continue to do so more vigorously in the time to come. Experts have predicted that 90% of the entire population will be connected to the internet within 10 years. With the connection of things, the digital and physical worlds will soon merge.

These changes herald exciting possibilities, but also create uncertainty and utmost doubtable reliability. And the people, who are already, majorly impacted by these changes and the advancement of internet, are the kids just initiating into their teens.

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With the global, national and regional availability of internet, and the economy of it, the kids of today’s generation are much more acquainted to the usage of technology than we are and were, or rather more acquainted than I will ever be. I have witnessed my 15-year-old sister helping me with the techy details, while also being slightly embarrassed by it. They are the new generation people, armed with technology, apps and internet.

Children are using digital technologies and media at increasingly younger ages and for longer periods of time. What digital content they consume, who they meet online and how much time they spend onscreen – all these factors will greatly influence children’s overall development.

In this digital world, kids are being excessively exposed to many risks, such as cyberbullying, technology addiction, obscene and violent content, radicalization, scams and data theft. Thus, making their endeavour on the computer or laptop a not-so-happy experience.

The guardians should help the kids to include an awareness of one’s online persona and to manage the short-term and long-term impact of one’s online presence. They should be taught how to achieve a healthy balance between the life online and offline. They should also know to not get enticed by problematic content and should be taught on how to avoid and limit such risks. They must entail the use of security tools for data protection, and also, to develop a sense of empathy online.

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We must establish basic guidelines and tell them of basic techniques to thwart them from meeting not-so-Mr. Tumnus personalities. Because, we cannot stop them from using the services that are being used all over the world, the services which are more so required to sustain a livelihood later. The least we can do is to help them to avoid suspicious intrusion over the internet, on how not to be a part of it, and also create an environment for them that allows them to discuss things than to hide it.

What we lack in technology, we make up for it in maturity and better understanding of real things than the virtual ones, and it is our responsibility to ensure that the kids from impressionable age, marvel in the occurrence of technology than bear the burn of it.

Yugansha Malhotra

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The Viewspaper

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