Are young people free to be themselves online?
‘Safer Internet Day: Free to be me – exploring identity online.’
This year in the UK, Safer Internet Day will encourage young people to explore how they manage their online identity, and how the internet shapes how they think of themselves and others. Safer Internet Day 2020 celebrated difference and helps us work towards creating a truly inclusive internet.
The campaign focused on what makes up your online identity – such as the facts or characteristics about you, how others perceive and interact with you, as well as how online services identify you. It also looked at how offline stereotypes and discrimination are challenged or reinforced online.
We will look at whether the internet allows young people to experiment and express themselves, or if they feel limited in who they can be online. By opening up conversations around online identity, we aim to inspire young people to support each other in being who they want to be.
In our whole school assembly we were thinking about the parts of our identity that we share online. We asked pupils to think about their own online identity. Our identities are made up of so many different things. It’s not possible or sensible to share everything about our identity when we are online.
Because of this, we might represent ourselves a little differently when we are online compared to how we do this when we are at home, at school or spending time with family for example. You might have changed your identity online, perhaps without even thinking about it.