Young People have been cautioned against misuse of social media. Given the fact that a sizeable number of youths have access to media and smart phones, it is important that they are guided on how to appropriately utilize the different media platforms not only for their own benefit but also safety.
Engaging students of Kingston High School in Kawempe, the Executive Director- High Sound for Children Patricia Osman, notes that whereas it is imperative for the young people to use and consume media services, they must be careful not to abuse or misuse the platforms especially with latest technological developments in the media.
Osman points out with concern that the unregulated media usage, especially social media platforms can affect the conduct of many of the young people who have access to mobile phones. She adds that some children stay much of the night on the phone disrupting their normal sleep routine while others have been introduced to adult content among others.
She appeals to the students who are about to break for school holidays to avoid being addicted to the smart phones to access unrestricted social media, saying that this can influence them to make irregular decisions and expose themselves or even their peers to danger further urging them to save the money they use to buy data for future use.
The experienced media practitioner adds that whereas parents are obliged to pay attention to their children's interaction with phones and social media, children themselves should exercise self control even where there may be no restrictions put.
Osman further explains that whereas High Sound for Children encourages the young people to use all the media channels to speak up or express their feelings, they must be keen on how they use the new digital media.
On this note she specifically warns young people against cyberbullying via social media, stressing that these unregulated practices can have advance effects on the confidence of their peers.
"Whereas you have a right to express your feelings you should not misuse these platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and twitter to bully others"-Osman.
During the engagement with the Media club at Kingston, the students were also sensitized on how the girl child continued to be vulnerable despite some achievements registered over the years.
Through group work the students were asked to brainstorm and present the achievements and challenges of advocating for the girl child.
The exercise was mainly to create awareness about the rights of the girl child but also identify the gains so far and the pending challenges that must be addressed through advocacy.
Moderating the discussion on the international day of the child slated for 11th October 2022, Paula Nakimuli, one of the media club ambassadors at Kingston High School said that some achievements have been attained but challenges still exist in regards to advocating for the girl child.
Nakimuli who is in form six highlighted the fact that some girls like her have acquired education and public speaking skills and they can express their feelings which helps to address their vulnerability.
Testifying, Nakimuli notes that through participation in the club she now fully understands what her rights are expressing gratitude for the confidence and exposure she has attained as she has spoken on various platforms both local and international.
All members of the media club unanimously agreed that after the covid19 pandemic lockdown, a big number of girls did not return to school because they were married off or impregnated, a key indicator that the economic and cultural challenges in regards to advocating for the girl child still exist.
High Sound for Children recommitted to work with the school management and the students leadership to boost the Media club to recruit and empower more club members as a way of nurturing advocates for child’s rights.