In brief: Estonian findings from EU Kids Online 2020

The use of the internet is thoroughly embedded in Estonian children’s daily lives: 97% of children aged 9 to 17 access the internet every day, using at least one device. Children from Russian-speaking families spend more time online than children from Estonian-speaking families (both on schooldays and at weekends). For example, only 6% of Estonian-speaking children spent more than 6 hours online during the week, while the proportion of heavy users among Russian-speaking children was 14%.

Searching for new friends and contacts plays a big role in children’s online communication. Almost half (46%) of the children had had online contact with someone they had never met face-to-face. Every third child who had had contact with strangers on the internet had also met that person face-to-face.

In eight years, the percentage of children who had experienced cyberbullying had not decreased, despite numerous stakeholder initiatives. Thirty-nine per cent of the children had encountered harmful websites, most often hate speech. Most of those Estonian children who had experienced online harm used a communicative coping strategy, mostly consulting their friends or parents. The latter, however, were not always aware of their children’s encounters of internet risks, as more than a quarter of the children tended to keep their negative online experiences to themselves.

Estonian parents can still be considered active mediators of their children’s internet use and safety. Most of the parents (92%) said that they had talked to their child about what the child did online, and 59% had given advice about using the internet safely. Children, however, considered their parents’ role in the social mediation of their internet use much smaller.

Estonian-language website


  • Estonian children and their parents are active and confident internet users, with less than half of the children claiming they needed some guidance when using the internet; 79% of the parents said that they knew a lot about using the internet. The myth about ‘digital natives’ still prevails among Estonian parents. Only half of them believed that they knew more about the internet compared to their children, even though the data about skills did not confirm this. 

  • Sukk, M. & Soo, K. (2018). EU Kids Online’i Eesti 2018. Aasta uuringu esialgsed tulemused. Kalmus, V., Kurvits, R., Siibak, A. (Eds). Tartu: University of Tartu, Institute of Social Studies
    Summary in English



Sukk, M. & Soo, K. (2018). EU Kids Online’i Eesti 2018. Aasta uuringu esialgsed tulemused. Kalmus, V., Kurvits, R., Siibak, A. (Eds). Tartu: University of Tartu, Institute of Social Studies
Summary in English

Beilmann, M., Kalmus, V. (2019). Kuivõrd aktiivne digikodanik on Eesti noor? Märka Last.

Kalmus, V., Masso, A., Opermann, S., Täht, K. (2018). Mobile Time as a Blessing or a Curse: Perceptions of Smartphone Use and Personal Time among Generation Groups in Estonia. Trames: Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 22(1, 72/67), 45−62. DOI: 10.3176/tr.2018.1.03.

Nevski, E., Siibak, A. (2018). Young children (0-3 years) touchscreen use and parental mediation: the pedagogical advice. In: Pascal, C., Bertram A., Veisson, M. (Eds.). Pedagogic innovations in early childhood education in cross-cultural contexts (pp. 192-207). Routledge.

Sukk, M., Soo, K. (2018). EU Kids Online’i Eesti 2018. aasta uuringu esialgsed tulemused. Kalmus, V., Kurvits, R., Siibak, A. (Eds). Tartu: University of Tartu, Institute of Social Studies. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.32549.55526

Talves, K. (2018). The dynamics of gender representations in the context of Estonian social transformations. Dissertationes sociologicae Universitatis Tartuensis, 18. Tartu: University of Tartu.

Kõuts, R., Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, P., Siibak, A. & Lauristin, M. (2017). Internetikasutus ja sotsiaalmeedia kasutus. In P. Vihalemm, M. Lauristin, V. Kalmus, T. Vihalemm. (Eds). Eesti ühiskond kiirenevas ajas: elaviku muutumine Eestis 2002-2014 Mina. Maailm. Meedia tulemuste põhjal (pp. 279−298). Tartu: University of Tartu Press.

Murumaa-Mengel, M. (2017). Managing Imagined Audiences Online: Audience Awareness as a Part of Social Media Literacies. Doctoral thesis. Tartu: University of Tartu.

Kalmus, V. (2016). The emergence of the ‘digital generation’ in Estonia's transition period. In: R. Nugin, A. Kannike & M. Raudsepp (Eds.), Generations in Estonia: Contemporary Perspectives on Turbulent Times (pp. 319−341). Tartu: University of Tartu Press.

Murumaa-Mengel, M. (2016). 100 sekundi video: meedialood kallutavad netiperverdi kuvandi äärmusesse [100 second video: Media stories push the perception of online pervert to the extreme]. Estonian Public Broadcasting Science Portal Novaator,, November 18.

Siibak, A., Murumaa-Mengel, M. (2016). Noored otsivad võimaluste- ja riskiderohkes sotsiaalmeedias oma kohta [The young are looking for their place in risk and opportunity-filled social media]. Estonian Youth Work Journal MIHUS, 19, 4–6.

Kalmus, V., Blinka, L., Ólafsson, K. (2015). Does it matter what Mama says: Evaluating the role of parental mediation in European adolescents’ excessive internet use. Children and Society, 29(2), 122−133.

Karaseva, A., Siibak, A., Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, P. (2015). Relationships between teachers’ pedagogical beliefs, subject cultures, and mediation practices of students’ use of digital technology. Cyberpsychology, 9(1).

Luik, P., Siibak, A., Normak, P. (2015). Eessõna: Digikultuur haridusruumis [Foreword: Digital culture in the educational sphere]. Estonian Journal of Education, 3(2), 1-9. 

Murumaa-Mengel, M. (2015). Drawing the threat: A study on perceptions of the online pervert among Estonian high-school students. Young: Nordic Journal of Youth Research, 23(1): 1-18.

Soo, K., Kalmus, V., Ainsaar, M. (2015). Eesti õpetajate roll laste internetikasutuse sotsiaalses vahendamises. Eesti Haridusteaduste Ajakiri, 3(2), 156−185.

Talves, K., Kalmus, V. (2015). Gendered mediation of children’s internet use: A keyhole for looking into changing socialization practices. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 9(1).

Trültzsch-Wijnen, C. W., Trültzsch-Wijnen, S., Siibak, A. (2015). Using and not using social media: What triggers young people’s SNS practices? In F. Zeller, C. Ponte & B. O’Neill (Eds)., Revitalising Audience Research. Innovations in European Audience Research. London & New York: Routledge.

Kalmus, V., Siibak, A., Blinka, L. (2014). Internet and child well-being. In A. Ben-Arieh, I. Frones, F. Casas & J.E. Korbin (Eds.), Handbook of Child Well-Being: Theories, methods and policies in global perspective (pp. 2093-2133). Dordrecht: Springer.

Murumaa-Mengel, M., Siibak, A. (2014). Roles of a researcher: Reflections after doing a case-study with youth on a sensitive topic. In L. Kramp, N. Carpentier, A. Hepp, I. Tomanic-Trivundza, H. Nieminen, R. Kunelius, T. Olsson, E. Sundin & R. Kilborn (Eds.), Media Practice and Everyday Agency in Europe (pp. 249–259). Bremen: edition lumière.

Kalmus, V. (2013). Laste turvalisus uues meediakeskkonnas [Children’s safety in the new media environment]. In M. Heidmets (Ed.), Eesti inimarengu aruanne 2012/2013: Eesti maailmas [Estonian Human Development Report 2012/2013: Estonia in the World] (pp. 83-85). Tallinn: Eesti Koostöö Kogu. Full text in English.

Kalmus, V., Ólafsson, K. (2013). Editorial: A child-centred perspective on risks and opportunities in cyberspace. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 7(1) (Online).

Oolo, E., Siibak, A. (2013). Performing for one’s imagined audience: main online privacy strategies of Estonian teens. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 7(1) (Online).

Kalmus, V. (2012). Making sense of the social mediation of children’s internet use: Perspectives for interdisciplinary and cross-cultural research. In C.W. Wijnen, S. Trültzsch & C. Ortner (Eds.), Medienwelten im Wandel: Kommunikationswissenschaftliche Positionen, Perspektiven und Konsequenzen. Festschrift für Ingrid Paus-Hasebrink (pp. 137–149). Wien: Springer.

Kalmus, V., Roosalu, T. (2012). Institutional filters on children’s internet use: An additional explanation of cross-national differences in parental mediation. In M. Walrave, W. Heirman, S. Mels, C. Timmerman & H. Vandebosch (Eds.), e-Youth: Balancing between Opportunities and Risks (pp. 235-250). Brussels: Peter Lang.

Murumaa, M., Siibak, A. (2012). The imagined audience on Facebook: Analysis of Estonian teen sketches about typical Facebook users. First Monday, 17(2), Online.

Soo, K., Ainsaar, M., Kalmus, V. (2012). Behind the Curtains of e-State: Determinants of Online Sexual Harassment among Estonian Children. Studies of Transition States and Societies, 4(2): 35-48.

Tamme, V., Siibak, A. (2012). Enhancing family cohesion through web-based communication: Analysis of online communication practices in Estonian Families. OBS, 001-028.



Veronika Kalmus (PhD in Sociology) is Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Doctoral Programme in Sociology at the Institute of Social Studies, University of Tartu. Her research focuses on socialization, inter-generational relationships, social and personal time, patterns of media use, and cultural values and mental structures. She leads the institutional research project “Acceleration of Social and Personal Time in the Information Society: Practices and Effects of Mediated Communication” and participates in several international research networks.


Andra Siibak (PhD in Media and Communication) is a Professor of Media Studies and the Director of the Doctoral Programme in Media and Communication at the Institute of Social Studies, University of Tartu. She has published extensively on the topics surrounding young people’s practices online, e.g. self-presentation on social media, teacher / parental / sibling mediation of young people’s internet use, privacy strategies and imagined audiences on social media, touch-screen usage of toddlers, and digital literacies. She is a member of various international research projects and networks (e.g. AoIR, DigiLitEY) and has acted as an expert for different projects initiated by the European Parliament, European Commission, European Council and OECD.


Maria Murumaa-Mengel (PhD in Media and Communication) is a social media lecturer and the programme director of Journalism and Communication at the Institute of Social Studies, University of Tartu. She is involved in research focusing mainly on young people’s use (and non-use, going “off the grid”) of social media, different subsets of digital literacies (e.g. social media literacies, porn literacies) and the transformation of private and public in online spaces. More specifically, her most recent research has investigated how young people construct and navigate the online-intimate (e.g. Tinder and online-pornography), how online risks (e.g. “online perverts”, e-bile) and opportunities (e.g. microcelebrity) are changing everyday practices of youth. Furthermore, Maria is interested in the methodological aspects of creative research methods and the ethical considerations in studying sensitive topics.


Kadri Soo (MA in Sociology) is an assistant of social policy at the Institute of Social Studies, University of Tartu. Her research interests include gender-based violence, gender inequality, (online) sexual harassment of young people, and child abuse. She has conducted the analyses for Estonian ministries and international organisations (e.g., WAVE, EIGE) gathering available statistics and information about legislation, policies, services, and effective practices on violence against women and child abuse in Estonia. Recently, she has involved in an international survey Children’s Worlds, which focuses on children’s subjective well-being. 

Marit Sukk

Marit Sukk (MA in Sociology) is a doctoral student and analyst at the Institute of Social Studies, University of Tartu. Her research interests include parental mediation, digital parenting and youth participation in online environments. She was the leading author in writing the report on preliminary findings of the EU Kids Online 2018.


Professor Veronika Kalmus
Institute of Social Studies
University of Tartu
Lossi 36
51003 Tartu
Tel: +372 56 623 583