Internet has impacted a lot of dimensions of teenagers’ life, such as relationships with peers and adults and, namely, intimate relationships. It also gave “a new façade” to traditional negative phenomena, such as bullying that now can have its cyber form of electronic aggression (i.e., “cyberbullying”). Such phenomena can be analyzed also according to a gender perspective as patterns of the Internet usage vary among boys and girls. This is the case of the newest research data of the “EU Kids Online” Project.
In Poland, the research was conducted in the first part of the year 2018 and was conducted on the representative sample of Polish children and teenagers aged 9-17. Overall, more and more young people use a mobile device to access the Net (in fact, almost 83% use smartphone every day or even more often to be online) while they are leaving PC or laptops. More specifically, about 52% of boys and only 29% of girls use daily a PC/laptop to connect to the Internet.
Possession of a profile on a social network site is very widespread. In the entire sample, 72.6% have one and there are no differences between boys and girls. Younger children (9-10 y.o.) had their profiles significantly less often than teenagers (11-17 y.o.) – (80% versus 48%). Important statistical difference was observed in the younger group: boys are more likely to have a profile compared to girls, and the difference was in this in the case of almost 10 percentage points (girl 43%; boys 53%).
Regarding digital skills, girls are more competent to change settings (crucial to avoid cyberbullying) on a social network site, while boys are more likely to check the costs of mobile applications, publish movies or music on the internet, check the truth online information, and edit content. It is worth remembering that such competences can be both advantageous (one producing positive online content) or may be used negatively (for instance while producing visual cyberbullying content).