The percentage of Australian eight to nine year olds who rate the internet as ‘very important’ in their lives has doubled since 2009, according to research released today by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
Launched today at the Cybersafety Summit by Senator the Honourable Kate Lundy, the Like, Post, Share: Young Australians’ experience of social media research report outlines key trends in online use amongst children and teenagers, and also how their parents view their child’s online world.
‘Whether it’s for study, playing games or connecting to friends and family, young Australians are placing more and more importance on the online aspects of their lives,’ said ACMA Deputy Chairman Richard Bean.
‘For most it’s a positive experience but parents need to think about starting conversations about cybersafety with their kids earlier,’ he added, with fewer eight to 11 year olds reporting having discussed these issues with their parents than 12 to 17 year olds.
Like, post, share studied the way children and young people use the internet and social media, and explored emerging trends such as the rise of mobile access to the internet. It follows up the ACMA’s groundbreaking Click and Connect study of 2009.
Australia is on its way to becoming a networked society, and the ACMA conducts research with a view to ensuring that its responses to this changing environment remain positive, flexible and relevant. Australian citizens are citizens of an increasingly digital world and, in empowering citizens to enjoy positive online engagements, the ACMA’s role as a facilitator and communicator is becoming at least as important as its narrow role as a regulator.
The ACMA’s study also looked at children and young people’s perceptions of the challenges they face online, and the role of other people—family, friends and teachers—in helping them navigate their way safely and positively.
Key findings include:
> While access via a computer still predominates, children and young people are increasingly gaining access to the internet on their mobile devices: eight to 11 year-olds use more than two devices to access the internet, and teenagers use at least three devices.
> Up to 35 per cent of eight to 11-year-olds have their own mobile phone, rising to 94 per cent of 16 to 17-year-olds.
> The majority of teenagers report using privacy settings on their social networking sites, with 66 per cent of 16 -17 year olds reporting their profiles are private. Younger teens are slightly less likely to have private profiles or take other steps to manage their privacy.
> Parents are the main source of advice and support for young people who are experiencing difficulties online. Up to three quarters of 12 to 17-year-olds have talked to their parents about how to stay safe online.
The full report Like, post, share:Young Australians’ experience of social media is available for download —
Cybersmart’s diverse range of resources (cybersmart.gov.au) provides the knowledge and skills children and young people need to stay safe and engage positively online. For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Gretchen Martins on (03) 9663 6801 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACMA media release MR58/2013—2 August, 2013.