Healthy Internet Use

healthy internet use

It might seem that we constantly read about the dangers and consequences of using the Internet and other technologies. Although these are legitimate concerns, we also need to consider the positive ways technology can be used during this period of staying at home. This means we need to take a pro-social approach to the technologies we use every day.

Let’s take a look at some of the main technologies we are using more of lately. How can we use these in a healthy way and be pro-social online… at home?

tv streaming

If you weren’t already watching Netflix or Now TV, you’ve probably been glued to the recent Disney+. Our favourite movies and series are no doubt a “life-saver” right now. But spending too much time watching streaming programmes, especially alone, can be a problem. So here are some ways you can use video streaming pro-socially and healthily:

  • Take breaks: Take regular breaks in between episodes and movies. Remember, you appreciate those mini breaks in-between classes at school, so take them at home. Its good to keep your mind occupied on a variety of things.
  • Watch with your friends: No… we do not mean go over to a friend’s house! But it can be just as fun for you and your friends to watch the same thing at the same time. It will feel like you are doing the same together. And technically you are. Plus its fun to keep social as you would normally.
  • Get familiar with child safety controls: Got a younger Sister/ Brother? Get familiar with Netflix’s Account Safety features. Consult with other TV streaming services Help sites for their safety control information.

gaming

You have decided to get stuck into loads of games while you have the time to. Or you have gained an interest in gaming again because… well… you are spending a lot of time at home! So have a look at these tips:

  1. Keep a watchful eye on any credit/ debit cards on your PlayStation Network or X-Box Live account: There is a good chance that these belong to your parents. It would be a good idea to remind them about this so that you don’t forget and run up a bill. Money is probably tight during this time.
  2. Eat healthy foods as you snack: Do you normally eat while you play games? Consider bringing up healthy foods like fruit, nuts and small amounts of junk food. Its better for energy levels and also a good way to eat healthy.
  3. Take breaks and play different games: Taking gamer breaks is a good idea. In gaming we can be in a “flow” state whereby we lose track of time, our gaming becomes challenging, and we exhaust our energy into “defeating bosses”, making it to the “next world” etc. So step back from the game at times and soak in your achievements. Also vary your gaming choices. If you’ve been playing a 1 player adventure game for a while, maybe switch it up with a multiplayer. Take the opportunity to involve friends and family.

If you are a parent and taking an interest in your child’s gaming lately, have a look at how you can get involved with these 5 things parents can do to make gaming safe and fun for their kids.

general websites

As we try to stick together while staying apart, online social networking sites like SnapChat, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter are essential for staying in touch with our friends. There are plenty of safety things to consider when using online social networks such as: parental permission, what settings suit you best, and staying safe using them. Check out our “App Watch” for the safety considerations of many of the popular online social networking apps.

Aside from these websites, there are many other websites providing clever content and access for our entertainment, education and wellbeing during the COVID-19 isolation phases:

  1. Google Arts & Culture: Browse through 1000s of Museums and Art Galleries using Google Arts & Culture from your bed!
  2. Minecraft: Minecraft made a tonne of their Marketplace Add ons and games free for the next while.
  3. Explore Space: NASA also provided an ASTRO-nomical amount of content from their website that can be viewed from home.
  4. RTE Home School: RTE launched a “Home School Hub” recently. Its interactive, and projects can be featured on their site.
  5. Poetry: Poetry Ireland have made their school resources accessible. You can read and learn about hundreds of Poems and poetry.
  6. Free BOOKS!: Turn off the TV and get a Libraries Ireland eCard. Access 1000s of books online here.
  7. Free GAMES!: Read too many books? Microsoft have a collection of FREE downloadable games.
  8. Into Soccer?: Several Premier League Soccer stars are uploading football inspired resources online.
  9. Folens: Folens publishers are making a lot of their educational content Open Access over the period.
  10. David Walliams: Up by 11am? David Walliams is doing a free book reading each morning.

 

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