Majority of Young People Believe Internet is Positive: A survey released last month in the run up to Safer Internet Day 2015 found that the majority of young people face few difficulties on the internet and view the World Wide Web as a positive place.
The survey, which questioned over 1,000 children aged 11 to 16, found that 55 per cent see their peers posting kind and positive messages all or the vast majority of the time. Further to this, 63 per cent feel that people online are nice to them all or a lot of the time.
When looking at how much interaction children have with their friends online, the survey found that 55 per cent engage with their close friends several times per hour and 63 per cent feel that they are closer to them as a result of the internet.
41 per cent claimed that they speak to their friends more online, than they do in real life, with 61 per cent admitting that they’d be lonely if they could not interact with their friends using technology.
However, the internet can be a darker place for some children.
Of the respondents, 1 in 20 claimed that people online were unkind to them all or most of the time, with 1 in 8 (13 per cent) admitting to reading upsetting and unpleasant things about themselves all or most of the time online.
30 per cent of the children questioned said that someone had been nasty to them on the internet in the last year.
In the past 12 months, 21 per cent of those asked had received an upsetting message off a stranger, and 19 per cent had been the subject of an online rumour which was not true.
21 per cent of the children surveyed had also had someone post something online with the intention to embarrass them and 12 per cent had been a subject of a nasty post which a lot of people had seen.
However, most young people were adopting measures to stop any negative experiences which they had online.
Of the young people who had experienced something negative online, 75 per cent had blocked someone within the year and 64 per cent claimed that they would know what to do if they experienced anything negative on the internet.
81 per cent said that they would know how to handle an instance of someone being abusive towards them online.
The survey found that the internet can be an isolating place for some young people, with 23 per cent claiming to have been left out of a group chat on purpose.
Director of the UK Safer Internet Center, Will Gardner said of the findings: “It’s heartening to hear that the majority of young people are finding the internet a positive place on the whole, but there’s more to be done to make sure that’s the experience for everyone. We’re encouraging everyone to take action today – whether that’s sharing a smiley face or making a promise about your online behaviour. It really is up to us to make the internet a better place.”
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