[PRESS RELEASE] Protecting Children in the age of the Digital World
Mon, 20 Aug 2018 || By Admin CfDS

Yogyakarta, 16 August 2018 – in this millennial era, many talented individuals fail to succeed due to emotional imbalance and failure to adapt and interact well within a pluralistic sphere. Diena Haryana, the founder of SEJIWA Foundation, found parenting issues cause these problems in an individual early stage. “Parenting is the key to educating the superior generation,” said Diena to open Digitalk #19 on Thursday, 16th August 2018.

SEJIWA is a non-profit organization concerning children protection issues in Indonesia. Diena with her team has created many creative contents campaigning the adverse effect of social media over-usage on children’s development. One of her short films is now screening in Japan to campaign children social media over-usage. With the Center of Digital Society (CfDS) FISIPOL UGM, Diena urged all audience to learn strategies on how to educate children in the digital era. She emphasized the importance of digital literacy understanding for parents before letting their children access the internet. “To educate children to be an excellent netizen, parents should understand digital parenting and be an excellent netizen in the first place.”

The Impact of Pornographic Content to Our Children

The most significant problems Diena and her team have found so far are social media addiction and exposure to pornographic contents to underage children. A study by Ministry of Education revealed 95,1% underage children were exposed to pornography, including children in Aceh, a province with strong Islamic influence. It showed that religious education was not enough to protect children from negative contents. Furthermore, several schools allow students to bring gadgets to class. Social media addiction becomes very hard to eradicate especially for children who yet to understand content filtering. Addiction to porn can damage the prefrontal cortex which disturbs the decision-making and logical thinking abilities. Therefore, these individuals will not have the same capabilities as children their age. Parents should be more creative in creating activities to distract them from technology. Diena said traditional games are similar to psychomotor-learning which enable children to develop well both physically and mentally.

Active Role and Participation from the Parents to Navigate their Children

Next, Diena gave several tips on how to educate children to be an excellent netizen. A superb citizen is not only able to utilize digital technology responsibly but also able to live with strong social skill. Raising children with these virtues can be achieved by becoming “FAB” parents who understand digital literacy. FAB parents give respect, empathy and understand children along with their friends. They also comprehend rules in the digital world, able to identify positive contents to share and to guide children in the online world.

Question being raised on how to educate sexuality to children before giving an understanding about digital literacy. Diena thought sexual education in Indonesia is still a taboo, but it remains essential for children to understand how to protect themselves and respect other people’s body. Parents can protect them online from sexual crime or pornography by installing parental guide on gadgets. Thus, children’s online activities are well monitored.

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Reporter: Nabiila Nurfitri

Editor: Fahreza Daniswara