Parents more concerned about their kids using social media than drugs

Published: 11 March 2018


890 parents were surveyed nationwide

Cyberbullying at its worst
Image 2013 © AAP Image/DAN PELED

ReachOut, an online mental health organisation for young people, surveyed 890 parents of 12 to 18-year-olds, and found that 45 percent were worried about the impact of social media on their children. In the same study, only 25 percent were worried about their children using drugs, alcohol or smoking.

Earlier in the week, we spoke to Katrina Collins, a mum who campaigned to have an anonymous app Sarahah shut down, after her 13-year-old daughter was bullied. After her online petition gained almost 500,000 signatures, the App store and Google Play dropped the app.

Even though the Sarahah app is no longer easily accessible, there are many other apps that are still a platform for bullying.

According to ABC news, ReachOut’s chief executive Jono Nicholas, said he wants technology companies to ensure they’re protecting young people, because “the psychological harm can be really significant.”

We’ve seen this time and time again, most notably with Amy “Dolly” Everett, who tragically took her own life after being cyberbullied.

“These companies have some of the smartest minds in the world. We really want them to also come to the table and say, 'here's what's the next step'," said Mr Nicholas.

Maybe it’s time for the government to step in and start taking measures to prevent this level of bullying. Last year, Germany passed a law that penalized social-media companies for failing to remove hateful content within 24-hours.

Above social media, technology, or the consumption of alcohol and drugs, parents’ top concern was their children’s study stress.