Teenagers and children on the internet

inspired by ImpacTalk

The internet today can provide knowledge, communication and a way out to children and adolescents, but it can also make them addicted or expose them to multiple dangers.


Makis Provatas, Journalist

Experts Zoe Rapti, Deputy Minister of Health,in charge of Mental Health issues

Vasilis Papakostas, Director of Cyber Crime Division

Argyris Stringaris, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Medical School of the University of Athens

To watch the full Experts Talk video

Teenagers and children on the internet

In today's age of information, advanced technology and the "smart" devices that accompany everyone's daily life, the relationship of children and adolescents with the Internet can be positive or negative, a relationship of affection or a relationship of anger. But it is certainly inevitable and concerns us all. 

The Internet today can be a valuable tool in the search for knowledge and communication, and even in the development of important relationships for young people. It may offer solutions, but it can also make young people addicted, distort personalities and expose children to multiple dangers, much more serious than the "bad man with the chocolates", whom parents of earlier times were afraid of. Today, that "bad man" is hiding on the Internet and can seduce his victims without even approaching them...

At the same time, the pandemic has worsened mental health conditions, cultivating fertile ground for addictive behaviours, especially in children and adolescents. The risk of finding themselves in situations that they are not able to manage is bigger, existing, but manageable. 

How can we protect young people from the dangers of the Internet and "cybercrime"? What are the consequences when usage turns into abuse? What are the signs and changes in adolescent behaviour that should wake us up? How can parents diagnose an addictive behaviour and how should they manage it? What are the safety rules that will allow children to take advantage of the "gifts" of the Internet, without losing touch with other activities? Where are the boundaries placed? But boundaries, which will not affect the autonomy that adolescents need. Where can parents in despair turn to? 

People who are primarily responsible and experts on these topics are in the search for answers to all the questions that concern us; the Deputy Minister of Health, in charge of Mental Health, Zoe Rapti, the Director of Cyber Crime Division, Vassilis Papakostas and the Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Argyris Stringaris, in a discussion moderated by journalist Makis Provatas. 

Makis Provatas

Makis Provatas was born in Athens and graduated from the 3rd Lyceum of Ampelokipoi. He is a graduate of the Dental School of Thessaloniki. Since 1999 he has been producing radio shows (ERA, VIMA fm and Athens Voice Radio).

He has interviewed more than 350 foreign and Greek scientists, academics, politicians, writers and artists for VIMA, ViMagazino and Athens Voice. Among them are Stephen Hawking, Noam Chomsky, Richard Dawkins, Dario Fo, Eric Hobsbawm, Irvin Yalom, Yuval Noah Harari, John Cleese, Eduardo Galeano, Patti Smith, Eric Burdon, John Malcovich, Mikkhail Baryshnikov and Frank Serpico.

He collaborates with HISTORY magazine, for which he has written articles and interviewed politicians such as Konstantinos Mitsotakis. He has co-authored five books, with scientists and politicians including: “On the third rock from the Sun” with theoretical physicist Dimitris Nanopoulos, “Just a Few Kilometers, Stories for History”, “Roots and Foundations” and “Milestones of the History of Hellenism” with historian Maria Efthimiou, “From Desevo to the Drone” with Network president Anna Diamantopoulou and “All in one life” with space scientist Stamatis Krimizis.


Zoe Rapti
Deputy Minister of Health, in charge of Mental Health issues

Zoe Rapti is a graduate with honours of Moraitis school and a Law School graduate of the University of Athens. She holds a Master of Laws (LLM with honours) in International Commercial Law from the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK. She is a lawyer at the Supreme Court.

She’s had a 16-year term in the Local Government, serving as: 

President of the Municipal Council and Deputy Mayor of the Municipality of Psychiko, member of the General Assembly of KEDE, member of the Political Committee of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and President of the Association (SLP) for the Protection and Regeneration of Tourkovounia.

As Legal Adviser of the Olympic Games General Secretariat of the Ministry of Culture, she participated in the elaboration of the bill for sustainable development and social utilization of the Olympic Facilities (LAW 3342/2005-Government Gazette 131 / A '/6.6.2005).

She has been a member of the Health Supplies Commission of the Ministry of Health, in the period 2013-2015. 

She has served as Secretary of Society-Party Relations (2016-2019) and today she is a member of Health, Labor and Social Solidarity Sectors of New Democracy. 

She was sworn in as a Member of Parliament for Athens, with New Democracy on 6/5/2019 due to the resignation of Vangelis Meimarakis. 

On 7/7/2019 she was elected for the second time Member of Parliament for B1 Northern Sector of Athens and took over the duties of Deputy Parliamentary Representative of New Democracy.

She has been appointed as a member of the Standing Committee on Social Affairs, a member of the Committee for the Review of the Constitution, a member of the Special Pre-trial Committee of the Parliament, article 86 par. 3 of the Constitution, a member of the Special Standing Committee for monitoring the Social Security System and a member of the Special Standing Committee for the prison system and other similar structures. In August 2020, she was sworn in as Deputy Minister of Health, with responsibilities for mental health and addictions.

Vasilis Papakostas
Director of Cyber Crime Division

Vasilios Papakostas graduated with honours from the Greek School of Police Officers, in the year 1997. He has studied Law and Informatics. He holds a Master's degree in Business Administration (MBA) and he’s studying in the Postgraduate Program of the Department of Information & Communication Systems Engineering of the University of the Aegean. 

He holds the specialty of Computer Programmer and he’s specialised in the analysis and development of information and communication systems. He has successfully attended a significant number of specialised seminars and has been certified in cutting-edge technologies by certification bodies and the National Centre for Public Administration. For 13 years, he has been a Project Manager in the implementation of IT projects and applications, serving in the IT Department of the Hellenic Police Headquarters. 

Finally, he has participated successfully in a variety of specialised trainings and postgraduate studies in the field of informatics, mainly in matters of analysis and development of database management systems, risk analysis and development of IT projects, as well as in trainings in the field of Management through objectives, measuring effectiveness and Management resources (human and financial), in Greece.

Argyris Stringaris
Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Medical School of the University of Athens

Argyris Striggaris, MD, PhD, FRCPsych, is a Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He studied Psychiatry and Child Psychiatry at Maudsley Hospital in London and neuroscience research at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London.

He specialises in mood disorders, especially in relation to neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and autism spectrum disorders. He has published over 150 international papers, has been referenced approximately 10,000 times in the medical literature and has received over ten international awards for his work. 

In 2019 he was honoured by the Royal College of Psychiatrists which declared him a Fellow. Since 2016 he has been in NIH, where he stands at the highest scientific level as Senior Investigator and Chief of Section on Clinical and Computational Psychiatry. He is also a Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University and a Visiting Professor of Psychiatry at King’s College London. In July 2020 and at the age of 45, he was elected Primary Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Athens.