chapter  6
11 Pages

Prosocial use of the internet in adolescence

ByROSARIO DEL REY, VIRGINIA SÁNCHEZ AND ROSARIO ORTEGA

The new information and communication technologies have revolutionized the way we as humans relate to the world around us. However, this process, known as the technological revolution (Simone, 2000) requires an increasingly greater need for a fuller understanding of how populations, and in particular minors, access and employ ICTs (especially the internet) in order to avoid the risks of exposure to its potential dangers in terms of their social and psychological development (Livingstone, 2009). Most reports and studies emphasize the potential risks in inappropriate use

of ICTs. In the specific case of Spain, this has been corroborated by the latest Eurobarometer report (European Commission, 2008) which shows how Spanish parents are among the most preoccupied with the way that ICTs expose their chidren to inappropriate or unpleasant content or experiences such as cyberbullying. Notwithstanding the above, the new technologies offer a wide variety of

possibilities: in education and training, civic activity, creativity and identity, and in social networking (Livingstone and Haddon, 2009). They clearly offer minors new spaces for communication and leisure pursuits, and have made children important contributors to the digital literacy of the older members of their families. Great efforts are therefore being made to make access available to larger numbers of children and young people. In 2007, for example, the theme of the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day was ‘connecting the young’.