Teens, tech and the ethics gap
On 24 February, VFFF’s ethical development program delivery partner the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) hosted a panel discussing teenagers’ use of technology
Representatives from BIT, Google and the Department of Education joined three young people in discussing this issue. There were a number of key takeouts from the discussion:
- The moral panic around teens' use of technology is inaccurate and unhelpful.
- Young people often don't distinguish between behaviours in the online and offline worlds.
- We need to focus more on ethical development, and less on specific risks and platforms.
- There's too much focus on risks, and not enough of other issues such as body image.
- The online environment shapes behaviours, but teens can make changes to regain control.
- The tech industry needs to design platforms to better support young people.
- We need to change the way we support young people to deal with this evolving challenge.
- Young people need to be involved in designing solutions.
The discussion highlighted the relevance of VFFF and BIT’s work on Digital Compass which is being evaluated in 2020 through a randomised control trial in NSW secondary schools. Digital Compass focuses on changing ethical online behaviour and has been co-designed with over 500 young people.