Borrisokane CC Student Lorcan Participates in EU Research
I had an opportunity to participate in the European Institute for Gender Equality research focus group on Thursday, 8th of March 2018, in co-operation with Professor Brian O’ Neill and Dr. Thuh Dinh from Dublin Institute of Technology. This research focused on how boys and girls use the internet and digital technologies to try to understand how young people benefit from by the internet and digital technologies. It also looked at how we could be aware of and avoid the risks involved. This is timely, coming just a month after Safer Internet Day and with the range of stories in the media around the internet and digital technology.
I was part of the male focus group and I feel that it was a great way to capture the student voice in a safe environment. We expressed our opinions knowing that it would be anonymous, which worked really well because in that environment we were free to express our thoughts without any pressure from peers or others.
In the groups, we discussed our experiences of using the internet and digital technology in our daily lives and shared both positive and negative online experiences.
The idea of splitting the groups into male and female was also interesting – some of the topics that we discussed such as peer pressure, body shaming and sexting were easier to talk about in a single-sex group and I think that will really enrich the data that the research project collects.
The findings of the research from the focus group will be used to inform a report which will be published towards the end of this year. This report will help in the future to promote safer use of the internet and digital technology.
Overall, this was a really good experience and I am delighted that I in some way represented the voice of Irish teenagers in the project.
Thanks to Webwise, Dublin Institute of Technology and the European Institute for Gender Equality for the opportunity to participate.