In the last few years, social networking has become a major preoccupation among young people. Surveys conducted among 3700 Australian school students in 2011 found that three out of four students are frequently involved in social networking and close to 40 per cent of all students say that social networking is very important for their peace and happiness.
If problems arise in life, 17 per cent of students said they were ‘very likely’ to turn to friends on social networking sites, and another 23 per cent of students were ‘quite likely’ to do so. On the other hand, the levels of trust that students have of friends on social networking sites is low. Many students are wary of those people they meet on social networking sites. Many are aware of the potential problems of bullying and manipulation through social networking.
For more analysis of the data and commentary on social networking, see Pointers Vol.21, no.4.