HEALTHY SURFING

Not the one in the sea. The internet kind.

Another one of these?

Yeah. Unfortunately. I've been told to tell you about all the possible health effects of the Internet and electronic device usage. Can we just get this over with already?

Physical Health

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Physical health, obesity, musculoskeletal problems

I'm lumping all of this together because they're all pretty serious problems that can be solved quite quickly, and using the same solution: stand up!


No, seriously, try a standing desk. It's pretty cool. Find like a really big box and put your laptop on top of it. (If you're using a desktop, try to move the screen and keyboard.)


The official recommendation is to take a break every 20 minutes of using the computer, but honestly, who's got that kind of time?

Vision

It's said that staring too close an a LED screen or other electronic display might hurt your eyes.


This may be true.


It is also likely true for reading non-electronic things like books. This hypothesis links up nicely with the observation that most academics have glasses.


Please don't peer very closely at the screen for longer than it takes to determine if that blank speck is a bug or a dead pixel.

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Hearing and Avoiding Getting Hit by Fast-Moving Vehicles.

Listening to music at loud volumes may damage your eardrums, leading to loss of hearing at either a temporary or permanent level. Turn down your volume and live with the fact that some people are just always going to be annoying.


Pay attention when doing potentially dangerous activities, such as crossing the road. At least pause your music while walking across the road. Or, better still, don't listen to music and enjoy the lovely surroundings of your existence.

Infection

I have no idea what I'm supposed to say on this topic.


Uh...


Please clean your earphones before sharing.


Ewww.


Oh right yeah. It's possible that your smartphone screen may be a vector for bacteria and viruses to pass from person to person. The general advice is to practice good hygiene, always wash hands, etc. etc. etc.


Although if two of you are close enough to share a tiny smartphone screen, I really don't think the smartphone as a vector for disease is a matter of primary concern.

Psychosocial Health

Online risky sexual behaviour

It's important that, as teenagers, you explore and develop your identities. (Fancy way of saying 'experiment'.)


However, remember that electronics and the Internet aren't a forgiving place. Definitely don't post anything sexually dubious into a public forum, because it's very very very likely that you won't ever be able to take it down. Although you probably know about that already.


But even on seemingly private or secure systems, such as Snapchat, there are still privacy and digital citizenship issues. While Snapchat may use sophisticated technical methods to prevent people from saving your photographs, there will always be ways to circumvent it. (Screenshots. Physical cameras taking pictures of the screen. And fancy apps that hijack Snapchat's systems. Etc.)


Please just don't engage in any 'online risky sexual behaviour' because I seriously can't think of any other suggestions beyond that.

Cyberbullying, Aggressive Behaviour, Digital Footprint and Legal Issues

I'm lumping these two together because they have the same solution.


It's not nice. Like, really not nice. Like, our society has sort of decided we'll make it punishable by law to bully or aggressively treat someone.


I AM NOT A LAWYER THIS IS A FLYER THAT I MADE QUICKLY PLEASE DON'T TRUST THIS FOR LEGAL ADVICE CONSULT A CERTIFIED LAW PRACTITIONER IF YOU REQUIRE LEGAL ASSISTANCE


Emotional harassment is a thing in most criminal courts.


Loads of people think that because it's the Internet, somehow they are less 'trackable'. Uh-uh. You're far less trackable if you walk out in the streets (unless you're in the UK or something where there are loads of surveillance cameras) that you are online. It's just that it takes effort to piece together the clues that make up your online identity and footsteps, but it's definitely doable, especially if you're a government or court with subpoena powers.


Obviously there are serious privacy issues, but unfortunately you can't counter sue for privacy infringement when you're being sued for defamation, slander, or emotional harassment. I think.


I AM NOT A LAWYER THIS IS A FLYER THAT I MADE QUICKLY PLEASE DON'T TRUST THIS FOR LEGAL ADVICE CONSULT A CERTIFIED LAW PRACTITIONER IF YOU REQUIRE LEGAL ASSISTANCE


If you're being cyberbullyed, please keep a record of the bullying in whatever form you can. (It sounds illogical and emotionally horrifying, but it can be used as evidence of your case later.) Tell someone you trust. In case it gets serious or really aggressive, it may be appropriate to call the police. (Unless it's the police that are bullying you, in which case I have really no suggestions... call the United Nations or something?)


If you are cyberbullying or engaging in aggressive, inappropriate behaviour online, just be informed that most laws that apply in the physical world are similarly applicable in the pseudo-'fake' online world.



I AM NOT A LAWYER THIS IS A FLYER THAT I MADE QUICKLY PLEASE DON'T TRUST THIS FOR LEGAL ADVICE CONSULT A CERTIFIED LAW PRACTITIONER IF YOU REQUIRE LEGAL ASSISTANCE

Addiction and Sleep Deprivation

The Internet is cool.


The world beyond the Internet is also pretty cool. Try it once in a while.


Sleep seems like it's unimportant, but unfortunately your body needs it in order to keep functioning.


Think about it this way. If you sleep roughly enough throughout the day and the week, then you'll be fit enough to spend the rest of the time on the Internet. Watching re-runs of Doctor Who and Sherlock.


Lovely.


(If you think you're having serious addiction issues with the Internet, please please please don't hesitate and seek immediate psychological assistance. It probably is pretty serious and the sooner you get help, the better. Studies have shown that the earlier help is given, the more likely it is people make a full recovery. To watching re-runs of Sherlock.)

More Legal Issues

Reminder: most laws that apply in the real-life physical world also apply in the online world.


Unless it's something like traffic laws. Like, I'm not sure how "don't cross the road" traffic rules could really apply on the Internet.


So like, be nice, don't tell lies about people, don't try to steal other people's things (including their websites), don't violate copyright and other intellectual property laws (which is kind of like stealing people's hard work and creative labour).



I AM NOT A LAWYER THIS IS A FLYER THAT I MADE QUICKLY PLEASE DON'T TRUST THIS FOR LEGAL ADVICE CONSULT A CERTIFIED LAW PRACTITIONER IF YOU REQUIRE LEGAL ASSISTANCE

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Cognitive Development, Learning, and Social Development

Please remember that learning, education, tests, and "friends" are important.


The Internet is a great resource for anything, so it's up to you to come up with the self-restraint and control to keep yourself productive when necessary. Just like how you can go to the shopping mall and either buy books from the bookstore or foundation from the makeup store, you can either be really productive on the right websites or really unproductive on the wrong websites.


Just at least know what you're buying.


Did you know that there are educational channels on YouTube! I know! It's a great way to revise and learn if you prefer that sort of learning style and environment. See http://youtube.com/edu.


Also, friends are important. Please try to keep up with your friends. Just chatting on Facebook doesn't work. You have to physically be with them sometimes. I know, it can suck. You want to watch episodes of Sherlock instead.


Why not watch episodes of Sherlock and then pore over every single detail of the show's apartment scenes in real-life with your friends?


See. Great suggestion, right? I'm amazing.