Parents Parents Secondary School Students
It is fun to use the Internet nowadays.  We can connect with our family and friends through different ways on the Internet including instant messaging or social networking sites.  We can also get different kinds of information we want or play games for fun.  It will affect our health if we do not use the Internet and electronic screen products properly.

Smart Talk
1. I am only allowed to go online for half an hour every day but I want more. I have asked my mum to let me play longer but in vain. What can I do? Show Answer
1. What your mum concerns most is that you may lose control on the amount of time you spend on the computer. If you can ensure a balance and proper time management, your mum will feel more reassured.

2. Be aware that it is easy to lose track of time when we navigate websites, play online video games and watch videos. Very often we may go online with an intent to spend only a few minutes, but end up with spending hours on the Internet. This will affect our daily activities and study.


Smart Talk

1. Tell your parents how and why you enjoy using the Internet, and share your feelings with them through open communication.

2. Listen to your parents and try to understand their concerns and worries.

3. Ask yourself whether you have neglected other areas of life when you spend too much time on the computer.

4. Use the computer with a specific purpose. Avoid browsing Internet just to kill time. Switch it off after use.

5. Set a timetable for your daily routines after discussing with your parents. Set time limit for using the computer. It is important for you to live a healthy and balanced life.

6. Create a family agreement which might include the time spent online, surfing the Internet after you have finished your homework, switching off computer by ten o'clock the latest. We should follow the rule as agreed.

2. I enjoy playing online video games very much and when offline, I will continue to play video console. My mum and dad often complain that I am "addicted" to gaming, which makes me very upset. What can I do? Show Answer
1. Avoid excessive use of the Internet or gaming. Those who are preoccupied with gaming could often feel lost or distressed when they are away from the computer.

2. Be aware that it is easy to lose control on time spent on video games during holidays or weekends.

3. Try to engage in different kinds of healthy activities for entertainment.

Smart Talk

1. Talk to yourself: "I would stop playing in 10 minutes. I have many other enjoyable things to do." Set time out and turn off the computer for a break.

2. Set a weekly quota for Internet use or to agree that certain games should only be played at weekends. Try to set a reasonable play time limit right from the start of your holidays.

3. Engage in different activities for entertainment. Activities such as playing jigsaw puzzles, doing craftwork and reading are as interesting and fun as online games.

4. Spend time with your family. Talk to them about things happened in school, the progress in learning and relations with classmates etc. Join different activities with family such as board games, ball games, cycling and swimming etc.

3. I sometimes play online video games with my brother. Some of his favourite games are rather violent and involve repeated killing. My mum warns us that the games are too violent and we are not allowed to play these games anymore. Is it true that we will become aggressive if we play violent video games? Show Answer
1. It is true that exposure to violent games will have adverse effects on us, may lead to aggressive behavior and lack of empathy. Therefore, we should understand our parent's worries.

2. Many non-violent games are also funny and challenging.

3. Many online and offline video games are interesting, educational and suitable for children.


Smart Talk

1. Play games that are suitable for children. Avoid games that might contain abusive language, inappropriate behaviors, violent or sexually-explicit content.

2. Choose games and online content that are recommended by parents or teachers.

3. Many interactive games can cater for a wide range of interests such as sport related games, mission based games and quests inspiring users to complete challenges.

4. It is fun to interact with your family and friends in games such as hide-and-seek, chess games, board games and pretend play, etc.

4. My friend suggested me to make online friends on social networking sites. In order to sign in, I have to give out personal information such as my name, age, gender, email and a profile picture. How can I stay safe when I reveal my personal information on these social networking sites? Show Answer
1. Do not make friends online.

2. You should protect your privacy and avoid exposing too much personal information.

3. Other Internet users may not be who they say they are. They might create a fake profile to pretend to be someone else. Information on the Internet may not be true. It is often difficult to find out whether a person is telling the truth or not.

4. "Friends" made online are still strangers. Someone online might lie about who they are and try to befriend you on the Internet but actually have bad intentions.

5. Strangers may be able to find you or even hurt you with the personal information you shared on the Internet.

6. Making online friends will limit our opportunities for interaction with our friends in the real world.

7. Online communication without interactions in the real world may affect our face-to-face communication, which may have a negative impact on our social skills development.


Smart Talk

1. There are many traps in Internet and we have to protect our online safety. Never share your personal information, including your full name, date of birth, pictures, school, address, email, phone number and daily routine, with people you meet online but do not know in the real world. It is best to use your real identity to communicate online with your real world friends and family only.

2. Meeting someone you have only been in touch with online can be dangerous. Never chat or arrange face-to-face meeting with anyone you know online but do not know in the real world. Be aware of news on cyber-crime so as to be more alert.

3. Seek advice from parents or teachers timely when you encounter problems.

4. Try to participate in different kinds of group activities in real life to develop your social life in the real world.

5. What should I do if someone online is being unkind to a kid I know? I tried not to join in but the bully began to attack me by sending nasty messages, making jokes and calling names. What should I do? Show Answer

1. What you encounter is a form of cyber-bullying, that someone uses technology, like Internet or smartphones, to deliberately and repeatedly bully another person. It can be in the form of nasty and hurtful messages, pictures or videos.

2. It is right for you not to join in or spread the unkind messages from the bully.


Smart Talk

1. We should learn to respect people with different opinions and think critically. We should be polite in our messages or reply to others online. Never use offensive language to chat online.

2. If someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried, tell your parent, teacher or a trusted adult right away to discuss ways to solve the problem.

3. Do not incite any cyber-bullying. When someone you know is being cyberbullied, support the victim by reporting the incident to a trusted adult.

4. Try to block all communication with the bully and save all the messages, emails, pictures or videos as well as record the user name, date and time of the cyber-bullying incident as evidence.

5. Do not retaliate or respond to the bully. Replying to the bully may trigger more bullying messages.

6. While I am online, websites with nude pictures and videos will pop up occasionally. Some friends have recommended sex websites to me. I know my parents won't let me visit these websites but I am really curious. Is it a problem? Show Answer
1. Starting from puberty, it is natural for young people to be curious about sex.

2. Inappropriate content on the Internet may contain inaccurate information and distorted views and attitudes. Exposure to inappropriate sexual content may have a negative impact on us.

Smart Talk

1. Avoid exposure to inappropriate sexual content. We should be aware of the appropriateness and credibility of the information we get from the websites.

2. We should gain knowledge about sex from appropriate sources. Turn to your parents, teachers or social worker for help and advice if you have any concerns about sex or personal development.