Pan European Youth Panel Meeting and Safer Internet Forum 2014

This year the Safer Internet Forum took place in Brussels from the 6th of November to the 7th of November and I had the opportunity to participate in that forum, to hear ideas from big companies of creating a better internet, to meet people from all over Europe and finally to share my ideas with everybody who participated in that forum.

I actually had to be in Brussels two days before the forum started because the Youth Panel representatives from each country met in advance, get to know each other and had some workshops together. Our first workshop was about online reputation. We created a timeline which showed the interests about the internet users at the age of 10-18. For example we found out that users at the age of 12 use social networks to share their emotions with others, they want to share everything they experience.

Another workshop was about how we use the internet; we had to find some ideas of how we can improve the negative things in the internet. Everybody knows some videos in YouTube which have a bad feedback which is shown with so-called "Thumbs down". Our idea was to remove those "Thumbs-down" completely so every video-maker can receive good feedback or no feedback.

At the end of each day we were invited to a dinner. The first day we went to Hard-Rock-Café. This was very great because after all these efforts, the journey, the workshops, the English language ;), we finally had the chance to relax a little bit and of course to get to know the other people.

The next day was actually the same. We drove to "Insafe" office and participated in a workshop. The workshop I participated in was about advertising. We used a big board where we presented the following aspects: What is advertising, how is it used on the internet, what the companies have to do to make it safer, what we as users have to do to make it safer. This day was very stressful. At the end of the day five participants were chosen to present our ideas on the Safer Internet Forum. And I was one of the five. I became very nervous because I had to speak to a big audience and also representatives of important companies. But everything went good on the next day. I was well prepared and my friends there supported me. That was great.

The Safer Internet Forum was an interesting experience. It was a great opportunity to hear opinions from different companies and especially countries! I really enjoyed that short but important journey. It gave me another point of view about the internet, about risks and also benefits!

Alexandra Bulla