RMG – Formation on Digital Health for adolescents successfully concluded

27 February 2023

(ANS) - The Youth Ministry Sector of the Salesian Congregation held three webinars on digital health on Feb. 16, 20, and 24. Animated by expert Guillermo Cánovas, they were attended by 300 people in each of the three appointments, representing all regions of the Congregation. Each session was made accessible in 5 languages.

The sense of this education was to address the topic of digital health, a concept that includes all aspects that directly affect children and adolescents who are in daily contact with new technologies and on which their healthy development depends.  The presence and participation of so many people from the Salesian world demonstrated the importance of the digital world in Salesian education. The training had the clear practical goal of providing educators with the necessary mechanisms to develop minors' critical sense, avoid manipulation and intentional conditioning, and prepare them to deal with this complex world.

Very important challenges were addressed, which need to be answered immediately; issues that directly affect not only the education of young people, but especially their freedom and ability to make decisions:

- First, the "digital diet," that is, the identification and control (self-regulation) of pathological uses, on which the speaker provided much information, with reference to daily life and advances in psychology and neuroscience

- Second, digital stress and its impact on health, relationships, and school performance. It was possible to reflect pedagogically on how to identify and work with this reality.

- Third, the growing impact of social networks. The reasons for networks, digital identity, digital footprint, and individual reputation were reflected upon. At the same time, the issues of privacy, identity theft, and the right to be forgotten were explored. The use of WhatsApp and Instagram is the main source of information about each individual: their photographs, their location at all times of the day, their habits, tastes, concerns, the contacts and relationships they establish, the events they attend, or the places they frequent... 

Fr. Miguel Angel García, General Councilor for Youth Ministry, said at the end of the training sessions, "Digital Health is an educational-pastoral issue that is not only of great topicality, current, but above all of extreme necessity, and is constantly in demand by educators. It covers aspects on which we need to be trained: from the development of the identity of minors in contact with the Internet and the new social networks, to issues related to their safety and privacy, including health problems and the impact on social relationships they establish: from the prevention of techno-addictions to the care of content in the face of what we call 'infoxication' (information intoxication, overload); from the possible changes in their cognitive processes and brain development, to new ways of reading and processing information."


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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