These days, Aussie kids aged six to 13 spend an average of almost 12 hours a week on the internet*. Most are going online for homework help, but 34% of children aged 8 to 13 also use social media, as do 82% of teens aged 14 to 17.
 
Children themselves have noted many upsides of social media, including staying connected with friends and family, keeping up to date, being entertained and having an easy way to planning their social lives, but they’ve also identified some downsides, such as nasty comments, inappropriate or hurtful content and the fear of missing out (FOMO).
 
In a 2016 study of 2448 young people aged 12 to 17 in Australia^, these were the findings:
25% have been the target of bullying or hurtful comments
56% have seen racist comments online
53% have seen or heard hateful comments about cultural or religious groups
33% have seen videos or images online that promote terrorism
 
Another study+ found that, in the 12 months to June 2016, of the young people aged 14 to 17 who were cyberbullied:
43% were socially excluded
39% were called names
38% received repeated unwanted online messages
36% had lies or rumours spread about them
19% received threats to their safety
15% had their accounts accessed by someone without their consent
10% had personal information posted without their consent
9% had inappropriate private photos of them posted without their consent
9% had someone impersonate them
 
and of the young people aged eight to 13 who were cyberbullied:
50% were socially excluded
39% were called names
28% had lies or rumours spread about them
17% received threats to their safety
12% had someone impersonate them
9% had their accounts accessed by someone without their consent
6% had personal information posted without their consent
 
*Roy Morgan Young Australians Survey, January 2007 to December 2016
^Research commissioned by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner and the Department of Education and Training
+Research commissioned by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner

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