In brief: Lithuanian findings from EU Kids Online 2020
The findings show that 92% of children aged 9 to 17 access the internet daily, using at least one device. The most common way to access the internet is via a mobile phone or smartphone, and in 2018 89% went online daily while using their phones; 37% of all the children say that they are online on their mobile ‘almost all the time’. The majority of Lithuanian children use the internet for entertainment and communication purposes. The most common daily activities are watching videos (72%), listening to music (71%), gaming online (69%), visiting social networking sites (52%) or communicating with friends and family (52%).
Lithuanian children are quite skilled in many online activities: most of the 9- to 17-year-olds can remove people from their contact lists (81%), they know which information shouldn’t be shared online (79%) and how to change privacy settings (70%). While searching for new friends and contacts plays a big role in children’s online communication, only 23% added someone to their contacts they had never met face-to-face. Even though 34% had had contact with a stranger on the internet, they never met that person face-to-face.
Children engage in various activities, and it is no wonder that they could experience various risks – 16% reported that they had been treated in a hurtful or nasty way online. Half of these children said that they were receiving nasty messages. Twenty-one per cent of the children had encountered harmful websites, most often showing people harming or hurting themselves. Lithuanian parents can still be considered active mediators of their children’s internet use and safety. Most of the parents (92%) said that they gave advice on how to use the internet safely, and 80% were interested in what their children were doing online.
Pakalniskiene, V., Raizeine, S. & Grigutyte, N. (2018). Lithuanian children on the internet: Report from a survey in 2018. Project EU Kids Online IV. Vilnius University.
Lithuanian children and their parents are active internet users. Eighty per cent of parents are interested in what their children are doing online, so it seems that Lithuanian children are not left alone and have parents who could help them. However, only half of the parents help their children if the child is facing something online that is causing them anxiety. It might be that the parents don’t really know what their children are actually facing online.
Grigutytė, N., Raižienė, S. ir Pakalniškienė, V. (2019). Children’s (Non-)Participation in Cyberbullying and Emotional, Behavioural Problems. Psichologija, 60, 72-85.
Grigutytė, N., Pakalniškienė, V., Raižienė, S. ir Povilaitis, R. (2018). Lithuanian Children on the Internet: A Comparison of the Use of Internet in 2010 and 2018. Psichologija, 58, 57–71.
Laurinavičius, A., Žukauskienė, R. and Ustinavičiūtė, L. (2012) Explaining vulnerability to risk and harm, in Livingstone, S., Haddon, L. and Görzig, A. (Eds.) (2012) Children, risk and safety online: Research and policy challenges in comparative perspective. Bristol: Policy Press, pp.297-308.
Žukauskienė, R. and Donoso, V. (2011). Results of the assessment of the implementation of the safer social networking principles for the EU: Individual reports of testing of 14 social networking sites / European Commission, Safer Internet Programme ; Verónica Donoso ; Belgium. Luxembourg: University of Antwerp, P. 69-76. [M.kr. 06S]
Vilmantė Pakalniškienė (PhD in psychology) is an Associate Professor and the Head of the Institute of Psychology at Vilnius University. Research interests are: Internet psychology, well-being, and parent-adolescent relationships.
Neringa Grigutytė (PhD in psychology) is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Psychology at Vilnius University. Research interests are: child abuse, trauma psychology, and psychological assessment.
Saulė Raižienė (PhD in psychology) is a Professor at the Institutes of Psychology at Vilnius University and Mykolas Romeris University. Research interests are: educational psychology, learning environment, and positive youth development.
Robertas Povilaitis (PhD in psychology) is a lecturer at the Institute of Psychology at Vilnius University and head of the organization Child Line. Research interests are: bullying prevention, mental health, and severe trauma psychology.
Rasa Erentaitė (PhD in psychology) is a researcher at the Institute of Psychology at Vilnius University and at Kaunas University of Technology. Research interests are: adolescent development, formation of goals and personal identity in the context of socio-cultural transformations.
Vilnius University, Institute of Psychology, Universiteto 9, Vilnius 01513, Lithuania