HOME: Healthy Social Media for Digital Empowerment project has entered the first kick-off meeting in Belfast.

IMG_0142The HOME project is to empower young people to critically assess social media and interact more responsibly online, in a way that safeguards their own wellbeing as well as actively contributing to that of others and society in general. A 2015 study by the British Psychological Society cited an increasing effect of social media overuse is one of addiction – the constant checking of phones, knowing how many people like their post, how many followed them and experiencing anxiety and low mood when not online or separated from their phones. Teenagers always seem connected, but do they know how to disconnect? Over the past fifteen years’ digital advancement has radically changed the way individuals interact, it is becoming an inescapable part of cultural and social structures.

During the meeting all partners was paid to target groups, plan and outputs. The aim of the meeting was to exchange views on this first phase of the project and to Photo 17-05-2017, 14 44 13gather research material for questionnaires to use prior to interview. The interview will be approx. 20 minutes. This will explore the core themes, with sub-themes following this.

HOME project will work across a range of European partners to create a toolkit of strategies and open educational resources. The prime objectives of which is to provide a construct for adolescents to develop their own personal critical thinking skills and minimize risk to their safety and well-being. This accessible safeguarding tool can be used in total privacy in the form of a media literacy app, incorporating the main citizenship principles of respect, education and protection.