On Tuesday, December 2, 2010, the findings of a Europe-wide study on young people and the internet were released in Berlin. The results were released on a conference organized by the State Media Authority of Rhineland-Palatinate in collaboration with several other organizations including the German Safer Internet Center.
More than 23,000 children and young people between the ages of 9 and 16 were interviewed across 25 European countries by trained psychologists in the context of a pan-European project known as EUKIDSONLINE. The Cyprus Neuroscience & Technology Institute participates in this venture since 2007.
Dr. Laouris, Director of the Cyprus Safer Internet Center and Representative of the EUKIDS network in Cyprus, presented preliminary results of a study that is using the data from these 23,000 questionnaires and which showed that kids experimenting with their selves online are at more risk of being bullied and bullying others on the internet. The study has used completed in collaboration with Dr. Lucian Kirwil from the Institute for Social Studies in Poland.
On an interview conducted by Mrs. Cinnamon Nippard, an Australian journalist working for Deutsche Welle, Dr. Laouris suggested that parents should let their children become their teachers when it comes to technology. This approach would not only facilitate the closing of the technological gap that exists between children and parents, but it will also give them the opportunity to spend some quality time with their kids.
The interview is available at:
The audio part of the interview is available on line (15.12.2010):
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,6326194,00.html (Laouris interview at minute 4).
The New Media Lab of the Cyprus Neuroscience and Technology Institute is currently implementing another research project, which supports very similar conclusions. Inetrisks (available at www.inetRisks.net), funded by the Research Promotion Foundation, has demonstrated that the attitudes of parents as to what constitutes a risk on the internet, change dramatically when they participate in a 6 month-long program that engages them in spending time together with their children in various technology platforms.