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Feeling like your family needs a digital detox? Try CyberBreak!

The world we live in now is hyperconnected by our smart devices – most of us use our devices at work, we use them when we have a break. Moreover, it’s not just us – adults, but our children use smart devices from a very early age and they also spend most of their time in the day in the online world.

We at CyberSafeKids always try to look at the both sides – we always highlight that technology is an amazing tool that bring us so many opportunities to educate ourselves, to stay connected with people, to entertain ourselves, to attend meeting that otherwise would ask us a long time to go to and a lot more. Nevertheless, technology also brings a lot of safety risks and more importantly in this article’s context – it can bring us digital fatigue and stolen time with the people we love. 

That is why, supported by LittleWoodsIreland.ie, we are asking families across Ireland to ditch their devices for 24 hours during CyberBreak 2021.

What is CyberBreak?

CyberBreak is a fun, interactive way for kids and parents to reflect on how much time they spend online and to promote a healthy online and offline balance. It’s also a good chance to just take a break from the online world and ‘disconnect to reconnect’. This break will take place on Friday 15th October from 5pm and runs for 24 hours.

Families who take a Cyber Break will be able to sign up and download our exciting family fun guide, with loads of activity ideas for the whole family to do during the break to help promote a healthy screen time balance.  CyberSafeKids is encouraging schools to get on board with the idea and already has 3,000 children signed up to take part.

Why it’s important to have a digital detox?

Recent CyberSafeKids research has found that 93% of children aged 8 – 12 own a smart device and 84% are signed up to social media and messaging apps, despite being under the minimum age requirement of 13 for all of the popular sites.  In the lead up to Cyber Break CyberSafeKids also conducted an informal survey with 10 Irish families to see how much time they really spent online and found that the average family spend 12hrs and 45 minutes online in a 24-hour period.

Our CEO Alex Cooney says: “We know the internet is a tremendous resource for all of us and in so many ways a huge asset to our lives, as we saw through various periods of lockdown over the past 18 months, but it can also be all consuming and hard to switch-off. Every so often, we need to make time to recharge ourselves, not our devices. Cyber Break is an initiative, supported by LittlewoodsIreland.ie, aimed at families and is about taking that time out, to reset the balance and to spend time doing fun stuff together offline”. 

How can I get involved?

FOR FAMILIES:

  1. Simply sign up by clicking the sign up button on this page.
  2. Wait to hear from us as we’ll be in touch soon with downloadable resources, and classroom activity ideas.
  3. Share our posts on social media.
  4. Encourage your friends to take part!

FOR SCHOOLS:

Sign up here and win a prize bundle for your classroom!

We will be randomly selecting 3 schools that sign up to Cyber Break and sending them a prize bundle of educational board games worth €150 from LittlewoodsIreland.ie. Quick! Click on the button below!

Register your family or school, so that we know that you will be a part of this event (it’s just a sign up form to access useful resources): cybersafekids.ie/cyberbreak

Having conversations about online safety with your children

We at CyberSafeKids believe that one of the most important aspects of improving online safety for children is starting the conversations. That is why CyberBreak is a great opportunity to include some of it while doing something together with your family. 

We know this might bring you some stress, since you might feel like you are not even ready to have conversation about online safety with your child, you can start with telling them about the apps they are using, might be a good way to start the conversations. 

Here’s 4 videos we have prepared (you can find them all on our social media channels as well) on the most popular apps children use:

If you are ready to educate yourself more on online safety and how and what exactly to talk about with your children, there’s an option to book a talk for your own family or you could join with a group of other parents:

And that’s not all! Since last month, we are offering CyberSafe eLearning, which is a completely self-paced online course, which means you can do it at any time and in your own tempo. Moreover, the first module is introductory and it’s completely FREE.

Why is having conversations are so important?

Our CEO Alex Cooney: “When it’s time to teach our kids how to ride a bicycle, we don’t just go – here’s the bike and off you go, but instead we have a process to prepare them, explaining how to ride it, what risks can occur and how children can better protect themselves. We also use safeguards like helmets and training wheels. As parents, we need to take a similar approach before handing them a smart device and letting them use online platforms from a young age. This is not happening in a consistent way and that is a concern.”

Here’s to an even smarter, safer, stronger 2021 and beyond!

Posted on:

Oct 12, 2021

Monika