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Safer Internet Centre

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Digital Friendships Report

For Safer Internet Day 2018 the UK Safer Internet Centre launched a report into the role of technology in young people's relationships.


For Safer Internet Day 2018, the UK Safer Internet Centre commissioned an online survey of 2000 young people aged 8‐17 years, which was conducted by Censuswide.

The findings reveal how central technology is to young people’s relationship and the many different platforms they are using to interact with each other. It also highlights both the positive and negative role that technology can play in young people’s relationships and that whilst they are proactively helping to build a better internet, they also want support from the adults in their lives to do so.

Key findings:

Being online is key for many young people's relationships, and they are using a number of different platforms to communicate:

Technology is changing the way young people are interacting with each other as well as their ideas of what constitutes a 'good friendship'.

There are both positives and negatives of being online for many young people:

Young people have strategies to manage their online relationships but also want adults to support them when things go wrong.

Download the Digital Friendships Report and Executive Summary