In today’s millennial age, the internet makes everything widely accessible and convenient; from purchasing products to connecting with friends and gaining instant information. Although the rise of the World Wide Web has vastly improved our quality of life, there are many potential hazards and risks that are often being overlooked. This is a worrying issue and trend as today’s youths are constantly online. A research on teens, social media and technology reported 92% of teens surf the internet daily and 71% of them have created accounts for more than one social networking site such as Facebook and Instagram.
This has made it evident that teens, particularly school students, are at greater risk compared to any other age group to the dangers of the internet. Among the many prominent threats include easy access to pornography and cyber bullying. With this in mind, R.E.A.L Schools National, Shah Alam Campus held an educational talk to address this concern and raise awareness among students on the dangers and effects of pornography and cyber bullying. The talk was conducted by Mr. Hank or better known as Coach Hanky, the Founder and CEO of HANKidz – an organization established to inspire schools and children to set and accomplish goals in all aspects of life. The creative usage of videos, games and even magic shows during the talk ensured the message was delivered across interestingly and effectively.
X-rated adult materials or pornography is one of the worst dangers of the internet. Most parents are unaware of their child’s online activity; with many teens visiting adult websites mainly due to curiosity. Mr. Hank shared on the negative effects of pornography by explaining how x-rated materials can heavily influence a teen’s online social behaviour. This poses a threat to the student’s upbringing and reputation. Browsing through pornographic sites can develop inappropriate behaviour such as posting indecent photos of one’s self online. These actions could invite sexual predators with cases of underage sex and statutory rape still occurring in society.
Mr. Hank (pic.) then proceeded to brief the students on cyber bullying. Taken lightly most of the time, cyber bullying can take on many forms. Most teens subconsciously take part in cyber bullying such as leaving nasty comments on someone’s social networking profiles, exchanging hurtful words, spreading rumours online or even giving death threats. Being ‘cyber bullied’ can lower a teen’s confidence and self-worth. Self-inflicted harm, depression and suicidal thoughts are possible outcomes of cyber bullying.
In the end, the 140 Junior 4 to 6 students were enlightened by the talk and entertained by the presentation. Beneficial events and collaborations with organizations like HANKidz are a staple practice of R.E.A.L Schools as the school always aims to offer students practical and pertinent lifelong knowledge.