About Cyber Wellness
The digital revolution – particularly the advancement of mobile and digital technologies - has changed the way media is used. The new environment presents risks and pitfalls, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the digital world.
Cyber wellness refers to the positive well-being of internet users and a healthy cyber culture for the Internet community. It involves an understanding of the risks of harmful online behaviour, an awareness of how to protect oneself and other Internet users from such behaviour, and a recognition of the power of the Internet to benefit oneself and the community at large.
To encourage and promote safe, responsible use of the Internet and healthy gaming, MDA advocates a holistic public outreach approach to educate not just youth, but also educators, parents and the general public to raise the awareness as well as impart essential coping skills in evaluating what they read, see and hear in the media.
MDA works closely with a number of partners from the public, people and private sectors to raise awareness on the core values of cyber wellness through various activities. In particular, MDA works closely with Inter-Ministry Cyber Wellness Steering Committee (ICSC) and Internet and Media Advisory Committee (INMAC) in identifying and facilitating key cyber wellness initiatives.
Inter-Ministry Cyber Wellness Steering Committee (ICSC)
Established since 2009, the Inter-Ministry Cyber Wellness Steering Committee (ICSC) has been coordinating the Government’s efforts in promoting cyber wellness programmes for youths.
The ICSC is co-chaired by MCI and MOE and includes representatives from the following ministries and government agencies:
a. Ministry of Social and Family Development
b. Ministry of Defence
c. Ministry of Home Affairs
d. Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
e. Media Development Authority of Singapore
f. Health Promotion Board
g. National Library Board
The ICSC recognises that public education remains the long term answer in equipping youths with the necessary skills to react appropriately to harmful and inappropriate Internet content. To encourage more cyber wellness efforts in Singapore, the ICSC has set aside a S$10milion fund over five years (2009 to 2013) to support good initiatives from people, private and public sectors. The ICSC will co-fund accepted cyber wellness projects for youths through this funding scheme.
Media Literacy Council
Formed on 1 August 2012, the 21-member Media Literacy Council works in partnership with industry, community and government to champion and develop public education and awareness programmes relating to media literacy and cyber wellness. In an increasingly interactive and participatory media landscape, the Council seeks to cultivate and encourage the public to become discerning media consumers with the ability to evaluate media content effectively, and use, create and share content safely and responsibly. It also advises the government on how to respond to emerging issues relating to Internet and media content.
Visit www.medialiteracycouncil.sg for more information.
Once Upon A Cyberspace
New media is becoming an inseparable part of the everyday lives of youth in Singapore. To raise the awareness on the importance of Internet safety among youth between the ages of 10 and 14 – and their families – MDA commissioned a special programme Once Upon A Cyberspace.
The 3D animated series ran as six 1-minute interstitials on MediaCorp’s okto channel for six running weeks at the beginning of April 2009, highlighting situations where discerning and responsible use of new media and Internet should be cultivated. The series covered the following issues:
· Game addiction
· Dangers of sharing personal information online (for example, in chat rooms), online socialisation (for example, making new friends via chat rooms)
· Invasion of privacy
· Internet viruses
Episode One – Instant Messaging Little Red Riding Hood:
Little Red Riding Hood comes online to find a message from an unfamiliar girl living in another part of Singapore. She starts chatting with her, ends up saying she’s going to visit her Grandma, and even reveals her Grandma’s address! We later discover this “girl” is in fact the Big Bad Wolf in disguise. Watch to see what happens to Little Red Riding Hood next!
Click here to watch the Instant Messaging Little Red Riding Hood video.
Episode Two – Snow White and Online Gaming:
Beautiful Snow White settles into her seat and begins to enjoy a steaming cup of freshly brewed hot chocolate. Turning to her computer, she fires up a popular online game and starts playing…. and playing… and playing. Time flies by, the hands on the clock are turning, but Snow White keeps going till we see that she is so tired and exhausted. Will Snow White ever stop?
Click here to watch the Snow White and Online Gaming video.
Episode Three - The Three Little Pigs and the Attack of the Internet Virus
The first little pig is a carefree – and careless – character. While surfing online, he unknowingly picks up a virus which causes havoc on his computer! His brother pigs are online as well, and they get the same virus. What will happen to the second and third little pigs?
Click here to watch the Three Little Pigs and the Attack of the Internet Virus video.
Episode Four – Sleeping Beauty and Her Mobile Phone
Sleeping Beauty is playing a game on her handphone while on an MRT train. She falls asleep on the train, with her mobile phone on her lap. A short while later, the MRT train comes to a stop. She wakes up just in the nick of time as she realises she is at her station. She rushes out of the train. In the process, however, she has dropped her mobile phone. Will a kind soul pick up the phone and return it to her untouched?
Click here to watch the Sleeping Beauty and Her Mobile Phone video.
Episode Five - Pinocchio Goes on a Blind Date
Pinocchio tries to get a date in an online chat room, but instead of being truthful, he decides to “borrow” Prince Charming’s identity. He poses as Prince Charming, posting photos of the tall and handsome prince as himself! To his surprise, he manages to land a date. Will it he get a happily-ever-after ending?
Click here to watch the Pinocchio Goes on a Blind Date video.
Episode Six – The Big Bad Internet Bully
The Little Princess has just set up a blog. She is happy and starts posting blogs about her travels and photos. One day, she realises that someone has been anonymously posting stupid and offensive comments on her blog, together with vandalised photos from her site. She is angered and takes matters into her own hands. Watch what happens next!
Click here to watch the Big Bad Internet Bully video.