Today is Safer Internet Day. Who knew?
Well, most of Europe, for a start. Safer Internet Day is in its tenth year and is making a big splash in the US this year. It is organized by Insafe, a European network of Awareness Centers promoting safe and responsible use of the Internet and mobile devices to young people. The day, itself, falls on the second day of the second week of February each year.
Safer Internet Day is part of a wider and long established effort by the European Union to raise awareness of illegal and harmful content for children. This sustained effort by the EU has ensured that most European countries have put into place hotlines for illegal content as well as ground-breaking research and educational efforts to empower kids to respond to the more challenging aspects of online life. From content to contact to conduct online, there has been a coordinated approach across the continent to address issues ranging from cyberbullying, sexting, over-sharing and addiction.
So, to mark Safer Internet Day, we at the Family Online Safety Institute are launching a pledge and a call to action. I realize there are many pledges out there, mostly sounding like the 11th Commandment: "I will not..." or "I shall not..." Instead, our Pledge for Good is positive, affirming and aspirational. And simple:
"I will use my power for good."
You can take the pledge both on the Platform for Good site, and on the Platform for Good Facebook page. When you take the pledge, you have the option of sharing how you plan to use your power for good. Need ideas or inspiration? The pledge includes a great list of ways others are using their power for good. When you take the pledge, you will have the option to post the pledge on your Facebook wall and tag family and friends to encourage them to take part. We are hoping that this pledge will amplify the good that's already happening online and create a ripple effect to encourage even of more acts of good.
So, celebrate Safer Internet Day with a simple, but powerful statement of intent. Take the pledge and then perform an "act of good" and let the world know you're using your power for good.