In brief: Finnish findings from EU Kids Online 2020
In Finland 97% of the children have access to a smartphone and most have their own phone. Eighty-five per cent of all participants are online daily, and 80% of pupils at upper comprehensive schools are online several times a day or almost all the time. Girls, especially those aged 12 and older, are active users of smartphones. Boys go online via a computer or gaming device. Age is a significant factor, as those at upper comprehensive schools are almost always online, if possible.
Gender has no significance for activity level, yet services, application and agency differ significantly by gender. Boys play games on global forums and use different digital content provided by different platforms. Girls communicate or share content among their own circles with those with whom already have at least some relationship.
Being online is for entertaining oneself and avoiding boredom. Hardly any of the participants considered themselves socially active or used the internet for any purpose other than entertainment at school. Traditional social media was particularly unpopular as well as participating in online campaigns (10%) – less than 2% had participated in online discussions on social issues, an online petition or another similar activity.
- The participants are tolerant and see no justification for violence or bullying. About 40% have recently seen bullying or hate speech online. A little over 10% have been bullied in some way online. This was the same between boys and girls, although girls reported being bullied because of their appearance or background. About 10% of participants had sent negative comments, messages or content online.
- Participants saw non-wanted content, such as negative comments, bullying or explicit content, on the platforms they use or on communication apps. Ninety per cent of the children feel safe most of the time when online. Seventy-five per cent considered themselves competent online, that is, they could use a device, change settings and understood security and privacy issues – yet only 50% thought they could make a distinction between incorrect or false content. Over 80% knew what content could be shared online.
Publications from the Finnish Team:
Reijo Kupiainen, Sirkku Kotilainen, Kaarina Nikunen ja Annikka Suoninen (toim.) 2013:
Lapset netissä. Puheenvuoroja lasten ja nuorten netin käytöstä ja riskeistä. Mediakasvatusseura julkaisuja 1/2013: ISBN978-952-67693-3-2_Lapset_netissa_2013.pdf
In english see EU Kids Online –reports:
Dr. Sirkku Kotilainen, is professor of media education in the Faculty of Communication Sciences at Tampere University. She is leading an international Master’s Degree Program in Digital Literacy Education. Her research topics cover media and information literacies among young people, teacher education and youth work. Recently, her research has been focused on vulnerable youth and, in transcultural perspectives in media literacies and, minors as users of adaptive media including artificial intelligence.
Dr. Jussi Okkonen works currently as University Researcher in TRIM at Tampere University. The key topic in his research work is performance and productivity. Due to digitalization of work environments he has put more emphasis on extended, augmented, asynchronic and spatially dispersed work. The underlying theme is the individual and organizational performance connected to information ergonomics. Other research topics are digital learning environments, HCI and software engineering.
Tampere University, FIN-33014 Tampere University, Finland