Skopje, Feb 13, 2023 – Today, on a panel discussion, Mother Teresa University in Skopje presented the Erasmus+ project data for the protection of the youth from the dangers caused by social networks.

The project is about raising awareness of the dangers associated with social media, such as social media addiction, dangerous encounters with strangers, catfishing of personal and financial data, lack of face-to-face contact and interpersonal skills, social isolation, and reduced mental well-being.

The audience were addressed by the Rector of MTU, Lecturer Izet Zeqiri, Ph.D.; professor Naser Miftari and high school graduates from Zef Lush Marku High School in Skopje; the representative of The First Children’s Embassy in the World MEGJASHI MACEDONIA, Fatmire Ajdari; and the project leader, Prof. Ass. Vladimir Kitanovski, Ph.D., from MTU. It was stated that statistics show that young people spend only 9% of their time online learning, 14% on entertainment, and 50% on the information. At his presentation on the topic “The Negative Impact of Social Networks on Young People”, Rector Zeqiri added that problems with children arise later, while the target group was children aged 14 to 19.

Prof. Ass. Vladimir Kitanovski, Ph.D., during the development of the project “Preventing Dangerous Viral Tendencies Among Young People”, stated that in the project, in order to get the most accurate answers and the most sustainable solutions for the problems of young people with social networks, the participating countries are various, i.e. developing countries out of the framework of the EU, such as ours, then countries from the region, and countries from the European Union. This is to better study how social networks react to different societies and societies with different levels of development.

Ms. Fatmire Ajdari, a The First Children’s Embassy in the World MEGJASHI MACEDONIA representative, said that experience shows that bullying starts at the age of 6, while it becomes more sophisticated up to the age of 14, and this sophistication especially intensified during the pandemic.

The lecture on the topic “The Experiences of Zef Lush Marku High School Students from Viral Trends on Social Networks” was presented by the high school’s teacher, Nasser Miftari, who stated that the problems of the youth with social networks appeared especially during the online learning, which the Covid-19 pandemic imposed it on us.

The panel discussion aimed to identify ways to protect the young from the dangers of social networks to find modules that can be used to protect children, teenagers, and young adolescents during the implementation of the three-year project approved by the EU Erasmus+ educational program. Mother Teresa University in Skopje implemented the project with partner institutions such as Association Follow me – Bulgaria, the Academy for Political Development from Austria, and the Urban Forum Association from Poland.