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Whilst the main reasons for internet use were the same across all age groups, it was quite apparent that the use of social networking remained as one of the top motives for young adolescents to be on the computer, with the breakdown of figures reflecting a 69 percent usage amongst the 12 -13 year olds, an 86 percent usage amongst the 14-15 year olds and a 92 percent usage amongst the 16-17 year olds.
Obviously the level of this communication and connection is probably not the quality ones most parents would prefer.”Brewer highlights that the key for parents is to maintain awareness around everything that their child is doing online and believes that whilst this isn’t necessarily a trend that is hugely popular at the present time, it could well be something that we see increase in the future as children get more sexualised and more emphasis is put on sex and sex acts as a ‘currency’ to prove a child’s worth and skill.
Susan Mc Lean, Australia’s leading expert in cyber safety and young people, echoes much of the advice given by Brewer and is quite clear in expressing the importance of the role of parenting in the age of the internet and social media.“The Internet has allowed people to connect with anyone and everyone, and children and young people are earlier adopters of technology.
Another one that is used perhaps more commonly amongst Australian teenagers is Tinder.
What is perhaps more worrying, however, is the fact that the promotion of such sites to a younger audience doesn't seem to just stop there.