Reactions to Cyber Safety Mixed

photo+by+Nick+Johnson

Nick Johnson

Public Speaker Jason Brand presents to Campo students on the dangers of cyber bullying in the big gym on Thursday.

Isabel Owens, Staff Writer

Jason Brand, a psychotherapist who specializes in the growing effects of “digitalization” on families, spoke to students in an assembly about cyber safety and the impact of technology in students’ lives on February 20.

In the assembly, Brand emphasized the importance of balance between the time spent online and outside life. He communicated his belief that while life shouldn’t revolve around technology, it can have many positive features, such as promoting communication skills, creativity, and moral and ethical values.

Instead of focusing only on the negative aspects of technology, Brand recognized that the internet plays an important role in the future of society, and it is this generation’s job to teach these skills to the older and younger generations.

Leadership worked with Brand to create classroom activities to support the ideas he presented. “There’s going to be something different for the frosh-soph and for the juniors and seniors. It will probably be very collaborative and very discussion-based,” said leadership advisor Dino Petrocco. They will present these activities to classes in March.

Campolindo leadership has never addressed cyber-related issues in an assembly before. Petrocco remembers his first years on campus, when only about half of students had cell-phones. But with advancing technology and increasing Internet usage among students, Petrocco believes that it is more important than ever for students to understand the responsibility of being safe on the Internet, and how to protect themselves from bullying or identity-theft. “I think this is a very relevant issue considering how much technology we’re connected to, from our phones to our iPads, or La Puma that’s online,” said Petrocco.

Many found the assembly to be boring and without a clear direction. “The assembly was said to be about cyber bullying, except I feel the therapist who came in talked more generally about how humans should interact and be courteous to each other online and offline,” said senior Marina Han. “I believe it was more of a common sense topic rather than looking at cyber bullying in depth, and so I noticed a lot of people had trouble understanding the takeaway message,” she added.

Junior Will Coates appreciated Brand’s engagement with the audience, as he brought students into the discussion by allowing them to share their thoughts, but also felt that he learned nothing new, and was unable to take away a lasting message. “I think it was optimistic of him to expect us to be engaged. I just don’t think it was very interesting overall. He was sort of saying things I already knew,” he explained.

“It seemed like the speaker didn’t have a clear purpose with his speech. It was kind of pointless and monotonous. It didn’t teach me anything,” said freshman Lindsay Easter.

“I think if he had stuff to say he could have made it really interesting with his PowerPoint,” she said.

Some students overlooked the intent of the assembly, turning to their phones for entertainment. “The assembly was so boring that for the first time in my entire life I downloaded Angry Birds,” said a junior student.

Like the prescription drug assembly last year, this assembly was set up by a group of parents.