About this survey
In October 2017, I asked 75 girls aged 12 to 13 from two schools in Southeast Queensland to complete a survey about how they used social media. Here’s what they said. (The links in brackets go to the website of the Australian Government eSafety Commissioner).
About the girls
Out of the 75 girls, 73 of them (97%) were online. The girls liked to do different things online. One girl said “Social media is a really good way to keep in contact with your friends and loved ones."
What girls do online?
The most common things girls do online are listen to music, keep in touch with friends, watch videos, do homework and check social media.
How often do girls use social media?
Over half the girls surveyed said they use social media a lot or frequently. Only 15% said they use social media rarely or never.
How do girls use social media?
Most girls use social media to
How do girls stay safe online?
The girls I surveyed use privacy settings to protect their personal information, blocked inappropriate content or people who are not nice, and use secret codes for sending messages to friends.
(Protecting personal information)
Posting snaps and vids
They told me that they are more likely to post pictures of their friends, their holidays and social events, selfies, pictures of their pets and family. They told me that girls are more likely to post pictures of themselves with friends than selfies.
Most girls feel okay about their social media posts (84%). Half of them think editing photos is harmless because everyone does it but 43% say they have regrets about some images they have posted.
(Tips for taking and sharing pictures and videos)
Which social media do girls like?
The top five social media sites or apps used by the girls are YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Messenger and Facetime.
(Social Media Safety Centres)
Who do girls report problems to?
Sometimes, girls report problems to their parents or teachers, or use the report options on the sites they’re on. One girl told me “I know some girls won’t report problems because they worry their parents will take their phone away.”
(How to report cyberbullying)
(Dealing with sexting)
(Dealing with Image-based abuse)
Things girls don’t like about social media