Digital resilience is the ability of young people to develop a critical mind-set when accessing digital information to reduce their vulnerability to potentially harmful information. Information on the internet and social media platforms can often be presented in a very persuasive, yet misleading, manner. Digital resilience skills help young people to navigate the information, deal positively with risks they encounter, safeguard themselves from harmful information and reduce their vulnerability. This applies to all types of online risks including vulnerability to radicalisation.
The charity Young Minds have produced a report ‘Resilience for the Digital World’ which recommends more attention is given to developing young people’s digital resilience.
The report recommends:
- Every school should think through and take action on how they help children develop digital resilience and embed this in their Ofsted-inspected E-safety curriculum.
- Young people should have engaging, accessible and age-appropriate information about mental health on the sites and apps that they use, so they can help themselves and each other if they are struggling.
- Industry needs to take on their responsibilities to support young people who may be struggling with the effects of social media addiction – for example, by providing pop-ups signposting to resources and support.
- Teachers, social workers and professionals working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services should be skilled up to understand young people’s experience of the online world and how to help them to build their digital resilience.