Author: Khusnutdinova M., Poskakalova T., MSUPE (Russia)
adolescents, problematic social media use, online communication
The results of contemporary Internet communication studies often conclude that the Internet environment contributes to formation of such attitudes and behavioral patterns as aggressive behavior, verbal abuse, fraud, trolling, bullying and etc. To describe this phenomenon C. James uses the term «the Ethics gap» and refers to it the loss of sensitivity to the moral and ethical aspects of behavior. To what extent do adolescents rely on e-communication and what is its content?
From March to June, 2022, an empirical study on the specifics of digital socialization of adolescents was conducted on the basis of MSUPE. The study focused on the aspects of online communication among adolescents and included 539 participants at the age of 12 -18 years old.
Besides the questionnaire aimed at figuring out the goals, preferences, potential threats and consequences of adolescents’ online communication and self-disclosure the study included The Problematic Social Networks Use Scale (Sirota N.A, et al, 2018). Due to the scale results two groups were determined and compered - 180 and 175 teenagers with low and high levels of problematic use accordingly. The study fixed that girls as well as teenagers from one-parent or troubled families are more likely to use social media problematically.
The data demonstrate that the majority of adolescents comply with ethical norms of behavior while using social networking sites. However, violations of moral principles are more common among adolescents with a high level of problematic social media use. They practise obscene language and offensive jokes twice as actively. They are more likely to become victims to online derogatory actions and abuse. More than a half of them experience negative emotions (anger, irritation, pain and annoyance) when they are criticized. At the same time, a third of them listen to the opinions of others and try to work on themselves.