Technology in the home – New UK report on young people, internet use and wellbeing

  • Awareness
  • 07/05/2019
  • UK Safer Internet Centre

On Wednesday, 17 April 2019, South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) released the third in their series of "Young People, Internet Use and Wellbeing" reports, prepared by SWGfL research partner, Andy Phippen, Professor of Social Responsibility in IT at the University of Plymouth.

With a focus on families, this report explores the use of technology in the home to manage concerns around online safety and interactions around digital technology use.

The analysis finds that the most harmonious homes when it comes to tech use are those with younger children, while the most tension between young people and parents is in households with teenagers. Key highlights from the report include:

From the perspective of parents:

  • Parents are concerned about harmful content online and potentially damaging contact.
  • 4 in 5 parents are particularly concerned about exposure to pornography, bullying and grooming.
  • Parents make use a range of technical measures and "parenting" approaches to manage online risks.

Young people present a complimentary, but somewhat conflicting perspective:

  • Young people are likely to turn to their parents for help until they reach teenaged years.
  • As young people get older, they believe they know more about digital technology than their parents.
  • Young people become more and more confident about bypassing technical house rules as they get older (3 out of 5 can bypass some, or all, rules at home).
  • There may be evidence to suggest as children get older they aren't aware their internet access is being monitored.

The report draws on data from SWGfL survey work of 20,000 children and young people, a survey conducted by Mumsnet and a study between SWGfL, the Office of the Australian eSafety Commissioner and Netsafe New Zealand.

Read the full report here.

Find out more information about the work of the UK Safer Internet Centre (SIC) generally, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.

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