Telenor Norway urges parents to mind children’s web habits


aurora_night_in_tromso_please_credit_truls_tillerNorwegian children are the most digitally competent in Europe, tying with their Swedish neighbours, but are also European champions in online bullying. So said Telenor Norway, citing a survey called EU Kids Online. Norway is not a member of the European Union (EU). It urged parents to have a talk with their offspring about their digital etiquette during the school summer holidays.

Telenor Norge said the proportion of children claiming to have been bullied online has gone up from 13 percent to 15 percent in two years, but parents are refusing to accept reality. It said parents are letting their children down if they believe they are not affected, and said adults must be more technically aware.

Telenor said a survey that it commissioned from Penetrace among parents of children aged 10-15 found 65 percent of respondents thought online mobbing was a problem for modern minors, but only 15 percent thought their own child was affected. It found 36 percent thought bullying might be a problem in their child’s circle of acquaintances, but 82 percent thought their own child had no trouble with such trolling.

Norwegian children spend an average of six hours per day on the internet or a mobile phone. It said recent figures from the Norwegian Media Authority show that 70 percent of nine-year-old girls and 60 percent of boys use Snapchat, even though the minimum age is meant to be 13. Nine out of ten parents do not prevent their offspring from using social media, with 86 percent saying their children gain knowledge by using the internet and mobile phone.

The operator went on to say that four out of ten parents said they did not know how to deal with their children’s everyday use of technology. It said it was just as important to be aware of a child using a new application, as it is to watch them playing sports. It added that 35 percent of parents thought schools should be responsible for teaching pupils how to use social networks.

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