Social Media Impact On Young People: How Do You Feel Without Your Keyboard?

İdil İclal Bağdu, DOĞA SCHOOLSHi, I am Idil Iclal Bagdu. I am 16 years old and I am a 10th grade student. I want to tell you the story of my project. Until a year ago, I had a difficult time with making friends. I spent most of my time at home with my phone and computer. However, during the second half of last school year, I had very nice friendships with the new students coming to our class and I realised that the people around me had reduced my time on the phone and on the computer while making me more social, more communicative. Then I realised that most of my friends around me prefer to spend time on the internet rather than face-to-face.

I focused my project on my environment, on the rapidly developing technology and on the impact on the socialisation caused by our  technological era. The rapid increase in internet usage and the increase in the number of the internet and gaming addicts has caused many of us to realise this problem, and this has led me to design this project. I would like to point out that my friends who are addicted to games also have an important place in the project. I thought that I could do something about this issue when my peers, who have problems socialising, are usually addicted to games and I realise that this situation gradually deteriorates their lives.

Especially in this age range (13-17), I think that the difficulties in socialising will weaken the individual in the future, and weaken their relationship with other individuals. If we think that people are social beings, we can say that each of us needs each other, we need to communicate, share and make ourselves a social entity.
Technology can accelerate communication and as it accelerates communication it can have a negative impact on our socialisation processes. Of course, online games are not the only factor to negatively affect socialisation but, considering this age range and today’s technology, we can say that online gaming addiction has a large share of the blame. Based on the above, and since I need to complete a term project for my school this year, I thought I should do a study on this subject and I started to do research with the help of my guidance teacher. In this study, I planned to research the effects of game addiction in teens aged 13-17, by taking into account the negative and positive factors affecting the socialisation process.
The hypothesis of my study was that when making classroom planning, students who are game addicts and have a lack of communication skills should be seated with those who use the internet for other purposes, and who also have developed communication skills. This could then gradually result in a positive change for game addicts from a socialisation point of view, thereby improving their communication skills.
In my study, adolescents spent time on computer games for a long time, preferring computer games to social events, wanting to leave social activity groups and lying about computer use and duration, having anger management problems when not playing a computer game and feeling depressive. These are common traits of game addicts.
As a result of my research, I tried to determine the effects of online games in a certain age range and to offer suggestions for improved behaviour. My recommendation was to include addicted students in the same class with students who are not addicted. After a set period of time, we carried out individual interviews and measured participants on a game addiction scale, in order to better understand the socialisation processes of the students. The change in behaviour we measured reflected our expectations. The preparation process for the project was really tiring for me, but I can say that it was fun.
Therefore, when writing the conclusion section, my stress was reduced, and when the project was completely over, I started to apply and wait for the result. Even though I received a good score when the results were explained, I was not able to take part in the regional exhibition because my score was still below average. This made me a bit sad but, a week ago, I received a mail which lifted my spirits again, so much so I am now writing this story.

I hope you like the subject and the story of my project. If there is someone who is addicted to online games around you or you struggle to socialise, you could benefit from my project. I think everyone is likely to have such an acquaintance because of the technology of our time. I think that this project is suitable for today’s technology and its problems, as it leads to a decrease in socialising and communication skills.

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Children reflecting on fake news and Brexit

As children have not been consulted on Brexit and its effects in Northern Ireland – the Early Years group of children have come to their own conclusions.

This video captures 2 children reflecting on how they think Brexit is now Fake News! This came up as part of their discussions on their WYRED research project on Fake News.



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Dismantle Stereotypes!

Forthnight conversations on “Gender Stereotypes and Equality on the Internet”

Dismantle StereotypesIt is impressive how diverse the discussions of the WYRED participants about gender stereotypes and equality on the Internet were and what a high level of reflection there can be seen in the threads! They have collected a lot of valuable material, pictures, videos, stories, graphics and scientific reports.

There is a shared view that media, especially social media and the internet, not only reflect social gender stereotypes, but also massively increase these through the permanent and worldwide availability of the net. They give many examples of this, such as the ideal of the perfect – often sexualised – female or male body promoted by influencers on YouTube or on Instagram and there is an interesting discussion about the connection between these stereotypes and cyberbullying and hate postings.
It is clear that as a group they reject restrictive gender categories, and support the dismantling of stereotypes and respect for differences and diversity of people.
The fornight is closed now and we thank all the participants for their fruitful discussions. We will return to the Gender subject from May 16th to 28th – Let´s work on solutions then!

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The new horizon of democracy

The new horizon of democracy

“Today, it is not that unusual to hear of people talking about e-democracy.

It is a conventional term that describes an unconventional way by which citizens take directly part in the public life of their cities and countries.

E-democracy is an opportunity to reduce the gap between citizens and the government in the difficult field of communication. As a matter of fact, it widens the communicative horizon, in such a trying time when the only words seem to be ‘’walls’’ and ‘’borders’’.

An authentic democracy should give everyone the chance (and voice) to be heard and to participate in the public life, as well as take every opinion into account in order to try to do better and make the best choice for people.

The problem is that people feel the distance between the democratic institutions and themselves; conversely, e-democracy is a virtual space in which everyone can say ‘’I exist, I vote and I would like to take part to the ‘’decision making processes’’.

I think that e-democracy is the best way we could go. I have chosen this topic because it is a constantly evolving issue on which citizens like me should express their needs, and in my opinion, we have the right and the duty to do so.

In conclusion, it seems reasonable to assume that, although e-democracy, with its lights and shadows, is a hotly debated issue, it makes it possible to debate between different realities. In the light of that, hadn’t we better if we turned off the ‘’airplane mode’’ and start to get connected?”

Camilla Caciolo

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Digital addiction

Digital AddictionA group of students (age 16) at Hof Hasharon regional high school in Israel discussed the problem of “digital addiction”.

All students said they are “living in their smartphones” a lot of time every day, some of them many hours a day. Most of them would like to occupy themselves less with their screens. However, it was understood that it is not necessarily addiction in the clinical sense, but rather excessive preoccupation and difficulty in disconnecting. So the “addiction” actually refers to how the user copes when he or she needs to log out.

The crux of the problem is the difficulty of disconnecting, even though you know it would have been better to do something else. One student noted that his parents thought he was like a “clinical addict”. He was addicted to the Fortnite game, used to play for hours each day, and only after a severe pressure from his parents he now plays only on weekends. But most participants think that enforced restrictions and prohibitions are not effective. On the contrary, they achieve the opposite result, as young people will continue to do the prohibited things.

It was mentioned that parents often give a screen to children too early, when they are too young. The problem is not just health risk (to eyes, etc.). The problem is that we give up on social activity and that’s not good.

So how can young people cope with the problem? What can be done?

One student exclaimed “Revolution! Let’s start to boycott the phones! With time more people will join!” Another student expressed an opposite view: “I have no problem with such addiction. Being occupied with the screens is good for me. If wanted to stop, I would stop!

Other participants favored the solution of “voluntary disengagement” based on applications that automatically warn the user and recommend stopping after a certain time” Perhaps not the best solution, but better than nothing. A number of participants blamed the irresistible technology: developers want to to arouse excitement. That’s the goal. The apps give us something we need, excitement. “Everything now is fast and accessible, all is excitement, you cannot prevent it, it’s part of the progress!

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How do social networks influence feminist movements?

SoniaTaking advantage of the fact that this week, Friday 8 March, we celebrate International Women’s Day, I wanted to talk to you about what influence social networks have had on feminism and feminist movements.

When? in 1911. Where? in the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York. How many people? 123 working women and 23 working men. What happened? they couldn’t leave the factory, they had been locked inside. They died in that fire. And that marked the before and the after.

Every March 8 we commemorate those women who tried to leave, and we commemorate the rights for and by EQUITY. So that each person, without distinction of gender (or other conditions) is undervalued or marginalized, by the mere fact of being of one gender or another.

In a social and historical moment where technological (r)evolution is so strong, and at the same time, the struggle for equality in rights is so overwhelming, necessary, and powerful… How do social networks influence feminist movements? How many social networks do you take into account, how many do you have installed in your mobile/tablets/computers? How many do you use every day, or every week? The influence these channels have on us and on social events is incredible.

Feminism no longer hides, it no longer fears. Feminism has already been uncovered, it has removed the layer of invisibility that it wore in case someone stigmatized or mythified it. Now she has a face, and a voice, and legs to walk, and a soul to fight. And her face, her voice, her soul and her legs are those of many people who fight every day.

Social networks have made visible what urgently needed to be visible. We have let sorority enter our likes and our trending topic column.
Social networks have opened the door to voices that were silent. And they have joined forces to reach our common goal, regardless of what language we speak, what country we are, what we do or what our experiences have been: equity in rights, wage equity, social equity. The struggle is that no person is afraid to be who she/he is.

SoniaAprovechando que esta semana, el viernes 8 de marzo, celebramos el Día Internacional de la Mujer, quería hablaros de qué influencia han supuesto para el feminismo y los movimientos feministas las redes sociales.
¿Cuándo? en 1911. ¿Dónde? en la fábrica Triangle Shirtwaist de Nueva York. ¿Cuántas personas? 123 mujeres trabajadoras y 23 hombres trabajadores. ¿Qué pasó? no pudieron salir de la fábrica, les habían encerrado dentro. Murieron en aquel incendio. Y aquello marcó el antes y el después.

Cada 8 de marzo conmemoramos a aquellas mujeres que trataron de salir, y conmemoramos los derechos por y para LA EQUIDAD. Para que cada persona, sin distinción de género (u otras condiciones) sea infravalorado o marginado, por el mero hecho de ser de un género u otro.
En un momento social e histórico donde la (r)evolución tecnológica pisa tan fuerte, y al tiempo, la lucha por la equidad en derechos es tan abrumadora, necesaria, y potente…

¿Cómo influyen las redes sociales a los movimientos feministas? ¿En cuántas redes sociales tenéis cuenta, cuántas tenéis instaladas en vuestros móviles/tablets/ordenadores, cuántas utilizáis cada día, o cada semana? La influencia que estos canales tienen sobre nosotros y sobre los sucesos sociales es increíble.

El feminismo ya no se esconde, ya no se oculta, ya no tiene miedo. El feminismo ya se ha destapado, se ha quitado la capa de invisibilidad que llevaba puesta por si alguien le estigmatizaba o mitificaba. Ahora ya tiene cara, y voz, y piernas para andar, y alma para luchar. Y su cara, su voz, su alma y sus piernas son las de muchas personas que cada día hacen su lucha. Las redes sociales han permitido que se visibilice lo que urgentemente debía ser visible. Hemos dejado que la sororidad entre en nuestros likes y en nuestra columna de trending topic.
Las redes sociales han abierto la puerta a las voces que estaban calladas. Y han aunado fuerzas para llegar a nuestro objetivo común, de forma independiente de qué idioma hablemos, de qué país seamos, a qué nos dediquemos o cuáles hayan sido nuestras experiencias: la equidad en derechos, la equidad salarial, la equidad social. La lucha para que ninguna persona tenga miedo a ser quien es.

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We are not wrong or alone

Hi there, I am Umut and I come from İstanbul. I am a student at Mimar Sinan Fine Art University. My university department is statistics.

I’m not just a student, I also work with LGBTİ+ group, women research’s, refugee children’s, women and LGBTİ+ in jail.

I am a LGBTİ+ activist since 4 years. I made conference about gender and equality in Boğaziçi, Koç, Sabancı, Marmara, Yıldız Technical, İstanbul Technical University. I am a defender of law for women, LGBTİ+, disabled people. Unfortunately in Turkey we don’t have much laws but we are still working on this. I am a queer person. Queer means basically someone who doesn’t have any gender or sexually orientation. I am not a man or women because I don’t need any socially gender identification.

If I love a person it means I fall in love with somebody who cares about me, he, she or any other kind of gender in the world. When I was I a child I knew myself but I could not tell anybody how I really felt. Like everywhere in world of course you can’t confess you are a LGBTİ+ person, because of your social community.

When I was 18 years old and went to university I refreshed my soul and I confessed that to my family and friends. They really supported me during that hard time. And I realized I had been through too many bad periods, but they had ended, so now I have to help other people who are alienated from their social community. My story began.

After those days I started working so that all people could live in peace and I will be working until the end because I know all persons are special and deserve to live and be treated as person. I will be working until all alienated people will be protected by the law. We are not wrong or alone.

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A new partner is on board

A very good news from MOVES…

We are happy to announce that the The Center for Inclusive Schools joins WYRED as a new partner. This Center  is one of the few locations in Vienna that offers a multitude of  special and supportive educational settings such as family classes, classes for children with special needs and elementary school integration, as well as multi-level integration classes on secondary 2 level. School life in the Center is characterized by a maximum individualisation and differentiation.

Our 18 new participants are already experienced in political participation as they took part in a co-creation process in the student parliament of their district for newly designing the location around their school.

Though it is not easy at all for them to concentrate for a longer period of time, within two social dialogue-sessions the children already successfully defined the topics and developed the research questions they are interested in.

So what are the ambitious projects they intend to work on in the next weeks? Some will explore the internet to find out how female and male influencers present themselves on YouTube. Some will write a Rap Text about their identities in social media. Others will research the question, how fake-news can be identified in the internet and one further group will define dos and don’ts to be safe when using it. We are very proud to have these young people in the project showing us how inclusion in practice works.

Soon results will be available in their community on the platform – we will go on informig you!

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Biology beyond borders

Hi, my name is Begum Dobrucali. I am sixteen years old. I live in Istanbul. I am an 11th-grade student at Atasehir 1 Doga College.

I wanted to make a project in Biology lesson from the beginning of the school, so I was always with my Biology teacher. I tried to follow her to be able to ask more and more questions about a Project. Her ideas were very important to me. I was always asking myself these questions;

What should I do? How can I do it? Where should I start?

I began to take notes of the problems around me and tried to produce solutions for them. One day on the beach I saw that the color was different at some parts of the sea surface. Some parts had a turquoise color. I took note of this as well. After that, in a fewdays’ time I saw the news about color changing ofsea due to the explosion of algae on television. Marmara Sea had become turquoise color. Then I started to research about algae. After I had learned that it is beneficial to human health, I decided to use algae in my project. Later, I started to think what I would produce. If algae could produce pigment, I thought I could produce organic food coloring. When I think about food coloring, all colorful candies and sweets come to my mind and of course most of the society love these sweets and candies especially the young ones. This means that there is a big problem. Because the synthetic food dyes in these desserts and candies jeopardize our health with the carcinogenic substances they contain.

When I found my project idea, I immediately went near my biology teacher. She had liked the idea very much. To get more information about this subject, we contacted to one of the assistant professors at Bosphorus University. He told us about the studies done with algae before for us. Finally, we decided to make organic food coloring in blue. That was the story of the emergence of my project.

Since I started to this project willingly and I began to spent all my free time researching this interesting subject. On the contrary, I was excited to make the project first and wonder about why no one has done this project before, or I was worried that they could not get positive results. Day by day the project slowly took its final form and blue coloring food coloring appeared.

Must the trial come to the stage of observation? The result was positive. My project was ready. Backward only the report section was left. I can’t say this part was fun but it had to be written at the last step.

I could not believe at first when I learned that I received an invitation to the Mostratec Science Olympics. How can my project be selected within hundreds of projects? On the other hand, I was happy but after a while this changed the place of joy with concern.

The biggest problem for me was that my English was not good enough. I was wondering if I could talk when I got there.” Could they understand me? How can they ask questions? what do I do if I don’t understand the questions asked? “These weresome of the questions that arised in my mind. I couldn’t remember how many times I made rehearsal about the project again before I went to Brazil, you can’t know how many nights I couldn’t sleep. But time passed very fast and I was at the airport. I was very uneasy. My face turned into white and I had a lot cramps on my stomach because of my excitement. On the board on the one hand, I curled into the seat, on the one hand, I was still trying to repeat what to say.

We finally came to Brazil. The first day we had registered and prepared the table. Meanwhile, I was relieved a little. There was no problem and I had told them about my troubles. I was relieved after telling my project once or twice in the following days. The translators there were high school students and this made me feel very comfortable. Because I could get along with them more easily and get used to the environment faster. I was told the same project hundreds of times, after a while, everything became easier. As for the judges, old, hard and critical types had come to my mind when I was dreamed. Whereas the judges who met me were friendly, sympathetic and curious.

In the award ceremony, the excitement of everyone and the joys of the winners of the award ceremony were worth seeing. The most difficult part of this competition was to say goodbye to each other after the ceremony. This contest did not pass as I had afraid before, everything was perfect. During my time in Brazil, I saw that I could easily do what I said I could not do, and I was more confident. When I encountered a problem, I saw that I could stand under it and learned not to give up. In fact, I saw that I could express myself by speaking English, I broke my prejudices. I had the opportunity to get to know different cultures by getting to know many people who have been living.

In fact, I started to learn different languages from my friends who I still talk to.

I’ve been able to understand how far I can cross my borders with Mostratec.

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Your power, your voice

Thank you Beyza Akay for your valuable contribution and your strong willing to make the voices of young people heard!

Hello World! It’s Beyza here. I’m a high schoolstudent. I study IT. So I know about coding,which is cool. I’m 17 and I’m an intern at Doga Schools, in the EU Projects department. I’m learning and working at the same time. My goal is to become a software engineer at Google.

No, it’s not impossible. It’s possible because i want it and I will study hard for it.

I love listening to stories about historical events, a person’s history, mysterious stories etc. I don’t know why but it’s exhilarating. I love learning and thinking about the things people tell me about. I love the internet because it allows you to search anything, you can learn everything. Even though I know there is a whole different world behind it. At school I understand that we haven’t seen even half of the real internet.

The internet and social media give you power that you will probably never have in real life. You’re who you want to be.

People only know your profile, not your real life. It gives you power but at the same time it weakens you because of what goes on in the social media. Users can address you in whichever way they wish, just as you can. You have to be careful because you can break someone’s heart and they can break your heart. Anyway, that’s not the point.

My point is your power, your VOICE.

If you have enough followers you can make all the people around the world hear your words. For example: you re-tweet someone’s tweet to show it to your followers, and they re-tweet it too. It’s snowballing. Every second it reaches out to more people. Even if you don’t want to. And some people use this. They create platforms to reach their goals, to reach your goals.

In my country, is a very famous website which allows your voice to be heard. It works in a quite simple manner: you can start a petition and people will sign your petition if they find it to be reasonable. Your goal here is to reach a certain number of people. Your supporters and you share it with other people. It reaches out to a new crowd of people. You never meet them but they support your goal. They spread it to the world. And then it reaches out to the policymakers. They give their decision. It’s up to them: if they want to realise it, they will realise it. Sometimes you reach for your goal but sometimes people don’t sign your petition.

As I said before, internet gives you power. You can use your power in a bad way or in a good way. As an intern at Doga Schools, I learned about the WYRED Project. There are other projects in which Doga Schools are involved, but I think this is the most important one. Because young people really need someone to help them make their voices heard. There are young people who can speak to crowds, but the majority young people can’t even talk about their feelings or thoughts. This it the greatest part I think. I wish that the project reaches out to more young people so they can make their voices heard.

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