In February 2014 the NSPCC published a new report which describes the experiences of 11-16 year olds on social networking sites and the strategies they use to deal with things that upset them online.
Researchers conducted an online self completion survey in December 2012 of 1,024 11-16 year olds in the UK. The report found that 28% of children aged 11-16 with a profile on a social networking site have experienced something upsetting on it in the last year.
The research makes very interesting reading and might be useful to share and discuss with children and young people as part of highlighting safe and appropriate behaviors online and exploring coping strategies and ways to seek support.
Key findings of the Report
- Over one in four (28%) of children aged 11-16 with a profile on a social networking site have experienced something upsetting on it in the last year.
- Of the children and young people who were upset, 11% were dealing with upsetting experiences on a daily basis.
- The most reported issue experienced on social networking sites was trolling, experienced by 37% of children who had been upset.
- Other issues experienced by children who had been upset included: pressure to look or act a certain way (14%), cyber stalking (12%), aggressive and violent language (18%), encouragement to hurt themselves (3%), receiving unwanted sexual messages (12%), and requests to send or respond to a sexual message (8%).
- Over half of 11-16 year olds (58%) believed at least one of the people responsible for the behaviour which had upset or bothered them was either a complete stranger, someone they only knew online, or they did not know who it was at all.
- Only 22% of the children who were upset talked with someone else face to face about the experience.
Download the full report here: The experiences of 11-16 year olds on social networking sites (PDF, 1.24MB)
Please cite as: Lilley, C., Ball, R. and Vernon, H. (2014) The experiences of 11-16 year olds on social networking sites. London: NSPCC.
Content adapted from NSPCC. For more information please visit the NSPCC site here