"Addictions destroy lives. We are obliged to act and we have to help young people know how to live in a digital world." Isabel Díaz Ayuso presented this Tuesday a "pioneer in Spain" protocol to prevent early behavioral addictions to screens (Internet, social networks and mobile phones), games, cybergames, betting and pornography among young people in school age. A purpose that the president of the Community of Madrid has personally supervised and on which she has been working since the previous legislature as a "priority" of her Executive.
This protocol, not in vain, is the result of a program to evaluate the state of the digital divide and coexistence in centers, called Kids Centric Universe, which started two years ago and in which a total of 96 schools and Madrid institutes.
The project relies on video games and artificial intelligence to carry out an initial diagnosis in each classroom, in which the habits of use of technology, games, applications used, monitoring of influencers and management of the social networks of the students are identified. students. These tools are effective in obtaining information about conflicts and inappropriate practices because young people are more honest with technology than with adults.
As the president shared, during her visit to the Vicente Aleixandre public school in Miraflores de la Sierra, the responses of 465 schoolchildren between 9 and 12 years old who have already participated in the program reveal situations such as that 42% acknowledge having social network accounts. social networks with false data, that one in four 1st year ESO students claim to have entered an online gambling house or that 73% say they unintentionally find themselves on the Internet with content of violence, racism or pornography that they dislike.
It is from the identification of risks that the program defines the prevention and digital competence training itineraries necessary for the center, which are worked on in a transversal and coordinated way with teachers, students and their families.
All this information and experience has now been compiled into a kind of guide that aims to detect these possible non-substance behavioral addictions in minors as soon as possible to minimize the serious consequences they have on their mental health, academic performance and social relationships.
The text, which is now available to all educational centers through the Education website, contains instructions on how to identify and act in these situations, in addition to a series of sheets to facilitate the collection of information, analysis and control by teaching teams.
Ayuso has emphasized that they want to provide support to teachers, professors and families to know "how to react" and what measures must be taken in time. "We must help them navigate this world full of opportunities but above all dangers. It is an issue that often surpasses the families themselves because they are unaware of all this because they have not experienced it before," he stressed.
These tools enable a quick response from tutors and, if necessary, the referral of students who present greater difficulties to the Technological Addictions Care Service (SAAT) of the Ministry of Family, Youth and Social Affairs and to the Comprehensive Center for Prevention and Research in Behavioral Addictions at the Gregorio Marañón Public Hospital (AdCom Madrid).