GOW17 in Switzerland: Cross generational social media training

During the Get Online Week 2017 in Switzerland, Ynternet.org organised three cross generational social media training events with the participation of 45 people. The aim of this training was to help citizens to use social media as to participate in citizen driven initiatives and understand the challenges of their use.

Through social media ideas and informations are easy to share and have access to an audience you couldn't reach another way. For example, the youth won't read the newspaper but are often connected on their smartphone.

Social media can be a good way to connect youth and senior together, training one another. Social media can also serve as a clear representation of the differences between youth and senior needs: you can define someone's generation by their use of technology. So, instead of increasing this generational gap, we decided to connect both of them through social media.

The main aim was to bring users closer to good social media practices. This includes publishing useful information to their community, respecting privacy rules and creating networks for common action in a local citizen context. So we worked on different social media, such as Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin but also Google drive that can be really useful to organize meetings or help each other to write articles from a different place.

For this event we opted for working groups involving senior and younger populations. In this way, "digital migrants" had an opportunity to exchange with "digital natives" on social media use and local policy priorities. For digital natives, nearly born with internet, using social media are part of their education and everything related to them seems obvious. Young people will have some habits like clicking here and there to find something, and being independent, self-learning on how application work. However, they have a lot to learn on the impact of these actions in their everyday lives, the ethical use of such technologies and the need to collaborate when learning or working. In front of experimented people, we feel like we can't teach them anything and that's not true. It's our role to include them because it's difficult to stay up to date in a world constantly progressing.

Another goal of this social media training was to cultivate a sense of curiosity for seniors towards new technologies and the capacity of "daring to try" and being confident with them. Our team explained to participants how to be present in an efficient way on social media: carefully curate posts, publish them in appropriate sources, being brief and clear as the available human brain time is getting shorter and shorter or share selected personal information.

by Yaƫlle Heubi, Ynternet.org

Country: Europe
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