Teens and Tweens - what are they doing online?



by Deb Carr

Today I attended a rather unusual High Tea at Westfield Sydney hosted by McAfee. So what was so unusual about it? It also involved an insightful look at Teens and Tweens and what they are up to online.

There is no doubt, children are getting more online savvy at a very young age. Take for instance evanstubehd.com - the kid-and parent-friendly YouTube channel that has racked up more than a staggering 272 million views in just a few years...Evan, who is 7 reviews his favourite toys and videogames.

With more social media platforms emerging rapidly like Snapchat, Yik Yat, Vine, Keek and KIk - the overall message Is, as a parent you need to get social media savvy on all these apps so you know where your kids are interacting online, and understand how it all works.

Today's presenters were:

  • Melanie Duca - APAC Consumer Marketing Director, McAfee. Part of Intel Security.

  • Alex Merton-McCann - Australian Cybermum, McAfee. Part of Intel Security

  • Robyn RIchardson, National Program Development - Life Education Australia

  • Dr Justin Coulson, Parenting & Relationship expert

Here is what are presenters shared today.

(all research courtesy of McAfee. Part of Intel Security)

The Tweens, Tweens and Technology research was conducted to gain a better understanding of the behaviour and opinions of young Australians when they are online, with regard to social media usage, safety and cyberbullying.

This data sheet provides a comparison of results between the 2014 and 2013 McAfee studies to identify changes in trends and uncover insights that McAfee and partners can share to help our children stay safe online.

Tweens: 8-12 year olds Teens: 13-17 year olds

Australia’s youth live in a world of constant online connection

  • YouTube is the number one social site across all age groups, with Facebook the most likely to be visited daily. In 2013, Skype was the most popular social website among tweens

  • New social media sites, such as Yik Yak, an anonymous messaging app, gain quick acceptance across all age groups

  • Worryingly, 31% of 8-9 year olds and 60% of 10-12 year olds are on Facebook, despite the legal age being 13 years old. This is a big rise from 2013, where 26% of tweens were using Facebook

  • One in three young people have their own Tumblr, website or blog

Most say they understand the risks inherent in online activity

  • 92% understand that what they do online can affect their identity

  • Teenagers who have more social media experience are more mindful of the impact

their posts have on their future

  • The top online fear for younger kids and tweens is the risk of cyberbullying (27%)

  • Teens are more fearful of losing their information (21%) and being hacked (31%) and losing their privacy (23%)

They therefore take precautions to protect themselves

  • 88% of teens and tweens who understand that online activities can affect identity have taken measures to protect their identity

  • Of respondents who have taken measures

  • 78% only communicate with or ‘friend’ people online who they know in real life

  • 56% use privacy settings on social media to protect their location and content

  • 34% disable the GPS on their mobile device (except for maps)

But many continue to take risks online, against their better judgment

  • Over a quarter (27%) of teens and tweens say they feel more accepted on social media than in person

  • 50% feel more important or popular when they receive a lot of likes

  • 41% wished they received more likes

  • 22% feel upset or depressed when they don’t receive a lot of likes

  • One in five have tried to reinvent themselves online by trying to appear older (12%),

creating a fake profile (12%) or posting photos that are not their own (6%)

  • Half of young Australians have done or posted something risky online

  • Nearly half (48%) have chatted online with or live tweeted someone they don’t

know. This has jumped from 19% in 2013

  • One in five (18%) have met someone in person that they first met online

  • 42% of teens and tweens don’t turn off the GPS location when accessing websites or apps from a mobile device

Tweens and tweens are seeing more cyberbullying

  • 81% have witnessed cyberbullying of others. This is a steep rise 56% from 2013

  • 39% have been cyberbullied and 15% have bullied others online

  • Of those who have witnessed cyberbullying, 62% reported it, generally to an adult

Parental guidance on personal decisions and social media is welcomed

  • 83% respect guidance on personal decisions/social media from their parents

  • Nine in 10 say their parents trust them to make the right decisions online

  • Yet, the same number (91%) say their parents have taken steps to monitor or

control their online behaviour. This is up from 2013 when 80% of parents were placing controls on online activity

  • 76% have had a conversation with their parents about being safe online

  • 58% have had device usage removed or restricted

• 74% would agree to their parents receiving alerts about their location

Even though parental guidance is respected, young Australians say their parents remain in the dark about much of their online activity

  • 70% say their parents know some of what they do online, but not everything

  • 49% say their parents can’t keep up with the technology

  • 52% say they know how to hide what they do online from their parents

  • 70% have purposely taken action to hide their online behaviour from their parents

  • 40% have cleared the browser history or used private browsing mode

  • 33% have hidden or deleted instant videos or messages

  • 13% have created a duplicate or fake social network profile

Teens and Tweens take on a guardianship role for their younger siblings

  • 28% of those with a younger sibling monitor or edit their sibling’s social media page

  • 59% of those who monitor or edit their younger sibling’s social media page have

asked them to remove something from their page out of concern for their well-being

About the research

The Futures Company conducted 1,033 national online interviews among males and females, ages 8-17. Interviews were conducted from June 16 – June 27, 2014. All respondents were required to spend a minimum number of weekly hours online to qualify for the survey:

  • Kids and Tweens (ages 8-12) were required to spend a minimum of 2 hours a week online.

  • Teens (ages 13-17) were required to spend a minimum of 5 hours a week online


#Community #Technology #Family

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