Background. Internet psychology has changed its research focus from describing the Internet as a separate space, with continuous interaction between offline and online communication, to exploring socialization in the world of mixed online/offline reality. This paper deals with the psychological and user activity factors of communication on the Internet in comparison with offline communication.
Objective. To differentiate the role of user activity, difficulties with regulating and expressing aggression, empathy and tolerance in compliance with online communication rules.
Design. The study included 1,029 adolescents aged 14-17, 525 adolescents aged 12-13, 736 young adults aged 17-30, and 1,105 parents of adolescents aged 12-17. Participants assessed how likely they are to follow communication rules online and offline, and reported their user activity level; they filled out the Chen Internet Addiction Scale, Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire, Davis Multidimensional Empathy Questionnaire, and Tolerance Index.
Results. It was shown that adolescents in general are a “risk group” for noncompliance with communication rules (“Internet etiquette”), but this is due to their general propensity not to follow any rules. Both in adults and in adolescents, failure to follow online communication rules is related to difficulties with aggression regulation, tolerance, empathy, and a low level of propensity for Internet addiction.
Conclusion. A difference between online and offline communication is related not to difficulties with regulation of aggression (anger and hostility), but to a lack of empathy and tolerance, and signs of Internet addiction.
Keywords: communication rules; online; adolescents; intergenerational comparisons; tolerance, empathy; anger; hostility; propensity to Internet addiction
Background. Digital socialization is understood to be mediated by all available digital technological processes for mastering and appropriating a social experience online. Understanding of this new type of socialization requires studying parental mediation strategies for children’s online activity, as well as the level of digital literacy of both children and parents, including through the prism of adolescents’ confrontation with online risks.
Objective. To study digital socialization and the role of parents in this process; to reveal relationships between parental user activity, mediation, and digital competence, and adolescents’ user activity, digital competence, and experience of online risks.
Design. The study was conducted on the basis of the EU Kids Online 2017–2019 survey methodology. The sample consisted of 1,553 schoolchildren aged 12–17 and 1,219 parents of adolescents the same age, all from the Russian Federation.
Results. The findings show that parents underestimate the online risks faced by adolescents, especially the most common communication and content online risks. Adolescents often do not notice parental “restrictive” and “active“ mediation of their online activities. Adolescents’ request for parental help with their online difficulties depends not on the parents’ digital competence, but on their active mediation. In following parental active mediation and safety mediation strategies, adolescents are more likely to face online risks, but at the same time they use active coping strategies. The negative relationship between the adolescents’ digital competence and parental restrictive mediation and technical control suggests that excessive control and limitations hinder the development of knowledge and skills in the safe mastering of the Internet.
Conclusion. The digital gap between adolescents and parents is observed both in confrontation with online risks and awareness of this experience, and in the application of parental mediation strategies. Parental active mediation provides stronger digital socialization and more constructive ways of coping with the threats of the digital world – online risks, which are the consequence of deep immersion into this world.
Keywords: digital socialization, adolescents, parental mediation, digital competence, online risks