ConnectSafely, the US host of Safer Internet Day, is announcing this year’s Safer Internet Day, running all week as Safer Internet Week. Rather than a single event, there will be virtual resources available for use in schools and homes every day of the week. Links to all content are at SID-USA.org.
This year’s US theme is “Improving Well-Being Online,” with programs on a variety of topics
- Social comparison
- Fear of missing out
- Body image
- Youth activism
- Extended reality and the metaverse
- Free speech and content moderation
ConnectSafely has interviewed experts and influencers for this year’s program, including:
Boston Children’s Hospital Digital Wellness Lab founder Dr. Michael Rich; author and activist Rosalind Wiseman; human rights advocate and virtual reality expert Brittan Heller; News Literacy Project education director Shaelynn Farnsworth; Cyberbullying Research Center co-director Sameer Hinduja; Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence director Dr. Marc Brackett; youth activist and ReThink creator Trisha Prabhu; social justice influencer and influencer Dani Coke; bullying and hate speech expert Beth Yohe and safety executives and experts from Amazon Kids, Discord, Instagram, Meta, Microsoft, Roblox, Snapchat, TikTok and Trend Micro.
Focus on Well-Being
ConnectSafely explores several important topics around online safety, privacy and security, with a direct focus on well-being in light of the pandemic, school closures and the isolation that many of us—young and old—have experienced for the past two years. After years of progress, ConnectSafely aims to focus on the recent increases in cyberbullying, online toxicity, depression and other harms associated with online experiences. At the same time, Safer Internet Day celebrates the positive, including the many examples of how young people are using connected technology to make the world better.
In the words of US Congressman Lou Correa, “Technology has been an incredibly empowering force for children, teens and adults, but to use connected technology safely, it’s important to follow some basic rules of the road, which is why I’m thrilled to support ConnectSafely in its role as official US host of Safer Internet Day.” He added, “It’s time to reinforce basic safety, privacy and security habits so that we can continue to take advantage of the power of technology while protecting ourselves, our families and our communities.”
History of Safer Internet Day
Safer Internet Day began in Europe in 2004 and ConnectSafely was appointed the official US host in 2014, in collaboration with the European Commission, the US Department of Homeland Security and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo. It has since been celebrated in classrooms virtually and across the US and in large, student-driven events in Austin, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles. In-person speakers have included (now) Vice President Kamala Harris, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Sen. Chuck Schumer, along with local dignitaries.
Safer Internet Day US is hosted by ConnectSafely with program support from the National PTA and My Digital TAT2. Supporters include Amazon, Comcast, Discord, Google, Meta, Meet Group, Microsoft, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, Roblox, Snapchat, TikTok, Trend Micro, Twitch, and Twitter.