Many people are tired of hearing shocking news about negative effects of social media and gaming on children and youth.
Facebook (now Meta) was found to have hidden the fact that they internally knew the negative impact of social media on teens’ mental health. The Chinese government banned children from playing games on weekdays. The governments in the US, UK, and Australia have new bills for child online protection to regulate tech companies. Are these actions enough?
We can’t avoid using social media and technology in our daily lives. Even for the parents who had strict digital rules for children’s screen time and social media use before the COVID-19 pandemic, such restrictions became nonsense after the COVID-19 broke out.
The digital world became their playground, school classrooms, as well as hangouts with friends. While children are forced to be constantly online, all these horrible news about the negative impact of technology on children became an overloading burden to parents.
Are there any meaningful solutions for this situation?
In a new book, “IQ, EQ, DQ, a new intelligence of the AI age”, Dr Yuhyun Park, world-renown expert on digital skills and digital safety, discusses these most pressing questions. As the creator of the Digital Intelligence (DQ) which is now the global standard for digital literacy and digital skills, Dr Park touches on a broad range of complex topics across technology, ethics, and education, in quite a personal narrative, chatting with us as a fellow parent and researcher.
Vint Cerf, one of the founding fathers of the Internet, said, “This book is about the safe and moral use of digital technology and reminds us that young minds may be especially at risk until they develop adequate Digital Intelligence (DQ). A must-read if you care about digital guardrails in our society.”
After seeing high gaming addiction among children as well as easy access of lewd materials on children on the Internet, Dr Park started her social impact journey in 2010 as an activist and concerned parent while she worked on the development of national policies, regulation, and public awareness campaign on child online protection in South Korea. When she experienced that these efforts did not see much success in curbing cyber-issues, she changed the direction of her approach from techlash to empowerment of individuals with digital intelligence (DQ).
The DQ journey
She described cyber-risks as the unintended and intended negative by-products stemming from the systematic speed gap between technology and human responses like policy and education.
To outsmart this speed gap, she developed the concept of digital intelligence (DQ), as the new intelligence for individuals to thrive in this digital age with AI, metaverse, and more.
She then developed the DQ framework as a comprehensive set of digital skills that include digital literacy, coding, digital entrepreneurship, cyber security skills and more by aggregating more than 50 leading digital skills frameworks around the world. The DQ framework has become a common language, structure, and taxonomy that can be benchmarked, referenced, and adopted and has enabled many countries and industries develop a life-long digital skills roadmap.
It became the IEEE 3527.1™ Standard for Digital Intelligence (DQ) – which was approved by the IEEE Standards Board on 24 September 2020. It was internationally acclaimed and endorsed by the Coalition for Digital Intelligence (CDI), formed in 2018 by the OECD, IEEE Standards Association, and DQ Institute in association with the World Economic Forum, with the commitment to promote digital literacy and digital skills around the world.
She says while IQ indicates the level of “smartness”, EQ “empathy”, DQ points to the level of “wisdom” while using, creating, and controlling technology. Most of all, she emphasized the importance of digital citizenship as the fundamental digital life skills for every individual on the Internet.
The book describes in detail why it is critical and how to empower children with digital citizenship to become smart, responsible, and ethical digital citizens who can mitigate and even translate cyber-risks into new opportunities using technology. And based on her experience working with more than 80 countries, she shares how nations can develop a holistic online safety strategy involving all stakeholders – parents, schools, technology companies, and government, using a data-based approach.
This book is a page-turner that takes readers through her personal stories and insights learnt on a 10-year journey; all shared as if in a conversation among friends. If you are looking for 10 tips for digital parenting, or a yes-no answer on whether you should follow the China’s gaming ban rule in your household, this book may not give you simple answers. Rather, she constantly challenges you with questions if you play a role in your sphere of influence to create a better digital eco-system and to empower future generations.
As Bill Drayton, the founder of Ashoka who coined the term of ‘social entrepreneur’ and ‘changemaker’ said, “Yuhyun Park is one of the world’s most successful social entrepreneurs. Her success reflects her deep understanding of the digital revolution and the urgency of humans guiding it for good and not becoming its dependent pawns. In this book, she shares that understanding with rare clarity – a gift.”
The new book can be found at https://bit.ly/3EfzOsB.