The latest research published by the Adolescent Health Unit of the P. & A. Kyriakou Children’s Hospital has been met with surprise and concern after studies found that one in every three elementary school students have been the victim of e-bullying.
The research indicates that 20% of children have experienced bullying at least three to four times a week, and 36% of children who have been e-bullied report that it took place via a social networking site (i.e. Facebook).
11% of the children surveyed said that they had been treated unkindly by someone online during the previous month, whilst 14% stated that incidences of bullying had occurred repeatedly during the previous month, at intervals of more than three to four times a week.
The research also reveals that Greek children start using the internet from the age of 6 years and 2 months and 51.2% of students in the 5th and 6th grade have used a fake profile to become registered members of at least one social networking site.
Concurrently, parents of only 44.5% of the children surveyed monitor and limit their children’s access to websites.
The research concludes that, as with everything in life, internet use must be used in moderation and in the case of underage children, moderation should be imposed by their parents.
Of course, owning a smartphone is very tempting. However, many dangers lurk inside the internet and an informed and preventive stance is a necessary measure. Parents should have a basic understanding of the technological abilities that devices with internet access offer, so that they can exercise some limitations.
Banning internet access is not the answer, but neither is excessive use.
by Dimitris Diamantidis, New Media & Marketing Director, hyphen SA