Project Open Eyes is a social project which aims to start and promote a sustained inclusive campaign about media- especially new media, digital devices, and their influence on children in Nigeria. Project Open Eyes focuses on the impact of digital devices such as the smartphone, tablets, and smart watches, and the influence of new media platforms like the Internet and social media.
Project Open Eyes defines a child as a person under the age of eighteen years, in line with the Child Rights Act, but extends its concern to all teenagers.
We believe that it is the responsibility of society to keep children safe, and make the best decisions for them until they grow into maturity, when they become largely responsible for their decisions. It is also the responsibility of society to keep children and young persons safe from deviants and the immoral in society.
Project Open Eyes believes that this responsibility towards children has been from time immemorial, but it increases in the global village that the world has now become, where the interconnectedness of humans over the Internet and other communication technology, brings good and bad people, and good and bad content, across the way of children faster.
Project Open Eyes believes that the responsibility of safeguarding children in our intense-media world starts with parents but that the buck does not stop there. Thus, Project Open Eyes seeks to start and promote a sustained conversation which would include parents and other stakeholders, including but not limited to:
- School administrators, counsellors, and teachers;
- Government officials- especially those with oversight over the welfare of children, education, and technology;
- Non-profits involved with children and technology;
- ICT/Media/Technology companies; and
- Concerned individuals.
To kick-start the conversation, Project Open Eyes organized Nigeria’s first large-scale survey of teenagers- over 2000 of them in Lagos state, to understand how they are using their smartphones, Internet, and social media. The report from that survey can be downloaded here.
The survey is meant to serve as evidence of teenage use of new media and digital devices, to aid the conversation, because, we envisage actions based on evidence and not speculation.