Jamaica | Mar 10, 2023

Teens get valuable advice on online safety

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Recording artiste and digital content creator Wayne Mitchell is seen with students of St Jago High School at the Safer Internet Youth Summit.

Teens and their smart devices… it’s rare to see one without the other. For many youths, their entire world revolves around their phone – it’s how they communicate, discover what’s new in the world, and entertain themselves. However, many remain naive to the dangers that lurk in an unsuspecting message or their new online friend.

Recently, three of Jamaica’s leading media personalities offered some invaluable advice to almost 500 high school students at Flow’s Safer Internet Youth Summit. During the discussion, many students admitted to being negatively impacted by their relationship with the internet. Cyberbullying, self-identity crisis and a skewed life compass were some of the challenges encountered online by the students.

“There is currency in authenticity. There is power in turning up as you. Put forward what you want the world to see.”

Rohan ‘Quite Perry’ Perry, digital content creator

Rohan ‘Quite Perry’ Perry, one of Jamaica’s leading digital content creators with over 700,000 followers on Instagram, explained to the students that one way to manage their mental state online is to remain authentic to their true selves.

“There is currency in authenticity. There is power in turning up as you. Put forward what you want the world to see,” said Perry.

“Many of the things I was ridiculed for while growing up, are the same things that people love on my social media channel. Always be authentically you.” 

Authenticity was a major theme of the summit, which is in its seventh year, and focuses on promoting online safety habits among teens. According to Dr Terri-Karelle Reid and Wayne ‘Wayne Marshall’ Mitchell, who were also panellists along with Perry, the social media content produced and watched by students should reflect their genuine interests and not necessarily what’s trending.


Revenge porn also emerged as a big issue for teens. This is where private photos or videos are shared online without the person’s consent and with the intent of causing shame to the individual. With the advancement of technology, capturing and sharing visual content has become easier. Within that context, Reid emphasised the importance of being more judicious with personal content.

“Sometimes we are too quick to share content, that shouldn’t be created in the first place, with others. Be smart about it… even if it’s your friend. If it doesn’t add value, if it’s potentially risky, do not share it and ask yourself the question – why was that content created in the first place?” Reid advised.

The link between social media and human trafficking was also a topical discussion, as traffickers often use social media to attract persons through seemingly valid avenues such as job postings.

Dr Terri-Karelle Reid pauses for a photo with students of Cumberland High School after sharing some online safety tips with them.

Reid also emphasised that each student must take personal responsibility for their online activity and that job opportunities must be researched thoroughly before applying.

In his closing remarks, Mitchell reminded the students that the internet is a tool that is always evolving, and they should use it to enable their goals.

“Artificial intelligence is here and it’s taking the internet experience to a different level than we could ever imagine. We have to decide how we want to live with the internet. Use the internet wisely and responsibly. Don’t let the internet use you,” he urged.

To reinforce online safety best practices, Flow has created a Safer Internet School Grant for which all high schools can apply for the chance to win a share of $1.5 million. The rules and criteria for the grant may be found at


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