A third of boys aged 16 to 18 have received sexually revealing pictures of someone they know, according to a survey the Israel Internet Association released on Wednesday.
Twenty-four percent of teenage boys and girls have received an inappropriate photo of someone they know via SMS or the popular WhatsApp application on their cellphones, the survey, which aims to evaluate the habits of youth on social networks, revealed.
The findings also indicated that the vast majority of teens (91%) use Facebook (97% of boys compared to 85% of girls), and 67% of youth have accounts on Instagram while only 26% use Twitter. In addition, 88% of youths have WhatsApp on their cellphones with 49% saying they receive more than 100 messages per day via the app.
The use of social networks will rise during the summer vacation, with 84% of youth indicating they intended to increase their online usage by some 20% or more.
Furthermore, nearly half of youths check social media within the first 15 minutes of waking up in the morning.
“The findings of the survey confirm the fact that youth are connected to screens, and naturally during the summer holidays and especially in light of the security situation the scope of their use on social networks increases,” said Orna Hellinger, director of the association’s Center for Safe Internet.
Hellinger said that there was nothing wrong with this phenomenon, but encouraged parents and educators to take an interest in youths’ digital activities just as they would in their daily routines at school.
“During the summer there is always an increase in the number of complaints to the Center for Safe Internet from young people and their parents as a result of incidents that occurred online associated with excessive self-branding [trying to make an impression], waivers of privacy, cyber-bullying and boycotts,” she explained.
“These are all different recurring patterns that mimic what is happening in the ‘real’ world. We can certainly avoid them in a timely manner by raising awareness of these phenomena and of prudent use,” she said.
Zeta Tools conducted the survey in July among 300 youngsters aged 13 to 18 via an Internet questionnaire. The findings reflect a 3.5 percentage point margin of error.