Friendship in a Digital Age – new report launched

27 Sep 2016 Hannah Broadbent

A new study into Friendship in a Digital Age launched by the UK Safer Internet Centre reveals that 30% of young people have been on the receiving end of mean online behaviour in the past year.

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However, according to the online study of more than a thousand 11-16-year-olds conducted by ResearchBods, more than three quarters (78%) believe that young people have the power to create a kinder online community. The majority (88%) of the young people questioned say they always try to be kind in their online interactions.

The study reveals the huge role that technology plays in supporting young people’s friendships, with over half (55%) saying they interact online with their closest friends several times an hour and 63% saying they are closer to their friends because of the internet. Reassuringly the internet is a positive place for the majority of young people surveyed. When questioned about their time spent on social networks and messaging apps, the majority of 11-16s (63%) felt that people were kind to them on the internet most of the time.

However, some young people face negative experiences online. Almost a third (30%) of young people said that someone had been mean to them in the last year, with 1 in 20 (5%) saying that people were mean to them most of the time on the internet.

That’s why everyone is being encouraged to play their part in creating a better internet this Safer Internet Day. What do you think makes a good online friend?