Striking the balance between our digital social and the real thing
Healthy Harold’s friend Jack loves playing soccer and computer games – until his teammate posts an online video of Jack making a mistake and social media comments turn out to be no fun at all
READING LEVEL: GREEN
Surfing the internet is like embarking on a digital adventure.
Did you know that this marvellous invention we call the internet has been around for nearly half a century? It was born in the USA, a place known for big ideas, with a humble beginning: sending basic messages between giant, clunky computers.
Fast forward to today, and nearly 20 million Australians have the entire internet right in their pockets or bags via smartphones. It’s like having the world at your fingertips.
Hold on to your digital hats because here’s a staggering fact: around 22 million Aussies, which is almost 87 per cent of the population, use the internet at least once a month. That’s almost everyone, from young tech-savvy folks to experienced adults. The internet has truly woven itself into the fabric of everyday life.
Now, picture this: about half of the young folks out there are surfing the web using not just one but five or more devices!
We’re talking about computers, laptops, trusty smartphones, iPads, tablets, snazzy smartwatches, TVs that are smarter than ever, and even those voice-controlled gizmos that help you with your questions and tasks.
It’s a digital extravaganza!
So what do people do when they venture into the vast landscape of the internet? Well, there are five main realms they explore: communication, education, entertainment, creativity and e-commerce. It’s like having a magical realm for each of your interests.
Speaking of communication, Aussies love to stay connected. The top choice for online chatter is good old email. But it doesn’t stop there. Text messages, various messenger services, social media chats, and even in-game conversations keep everyone linked and chatting in the digital world. It’s like a giant, never-ending conversation with friends and family all around the world.
That all sounds like a lot of fun, but with so many photos to see, videos to watch, music to listen to, chats to have, games to play and information to read, we can get so caught up living in the digital world that we forget about living in the real world.
So what do we do if something goes wrong online, or we feel like we may be a little bit addicted to an app or game, or we have a problem that’s too big for us to manage?
It’s always important to know who can help us in the real world and the digital one if things don’t go right. It may be adults at home or at school, or older brothers and sisters too.
If things get bad online, it’s a good idea to recognise body clues when we are feeling unsafe or uncomfortable, to react by taking screen shots to collect evidence, and to report and block anyone who makes you feel that way.
But wait. In the midst of this dazzling digital landscape, it’s also essential to remember the importance of balance. While the internet offers boundless opportunities, it’s crucial to find a balance between screen time and real-life activities.
Enjoying the great outdoors, engaging in physical activities and team sports, spending quality time with loved ones and simply reading a good old-fashioned book are all precious moments that shouldn’t be replaced by screens.
Finding this equilibrium or balance helps us to live a more fulfilling and healthy lifestyle, where both the digital and the real world each has their place. So go ahead and explore the internet’s wonders, but also make time for those offline adventures and connections with friends and family that add depth and richness to your life.
It’s the magic of balance that truly makes living in the digital age fun!
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