Approximately 40% of Irish children aged 11-12 are using social media despite age restrictions, according to new European research into mobile internet use.
The report, titled Net Kids Go Mobile, involved a study of around 3,500 children aged 9-16 in seven countries. It researched the online habits of children and the issues facing them.
The study found that most children spend between half an hour and two hours online per day. Smartphones are most frequently used to access the internet, followed by laptops. However, most use happens at home.
One of the issues highlighted by the study was that 43% of respondents don’t know how to use the “report abuse” safety button on social networking sites. 13% of those surveyed said that they had been cyberbullied, while around 20% said that they had been bothered by something they encountered on the internet in the last year.
Dr Brian O’Neill who worked on the study in Ireland said that social media sites are coming under pressure to implement safety features and buttons, but there is a shortcoming if children do not know how to use them.
This report comes in the wake of ESET’s statement yesterday that 70% of Irish people aged 16-24 have uploaded or shared a picture online that they would be embarrassed by if it was made publicly available.
Today is Safer Internet Day, an EU wide initiative to promote a safer internet for all users. With that in mind, perhaps it’s time to look at how we use the internet and how often we spend glued to social networks.