Changes in Safer Internet Use of Children in Turkey between 2010-2015 and Impact of Contextual Issues*
Keywords:Computer-mediated communication;, country-specific developments; navigation, media in education
The purpose of this study is to reveal the changes that occurred between 2010 and 2015 in the Internet activities performed, Internet use skills, online risks, and coping strategies related to such risks of children between the ages of nine and 16 in Turkey as well as the impact of the contextual issues on such changes. An explanatory design using mixed research methods was used for this study. In the quantitative part of the study, the data were collected from 784 children between the ages of nine to 16 who were selected, via a survey, from 12 regions in Turkey in 2015. The data were compared to 2010 data which used similar sampling method and instruments and which collected from 1018 children. In the qualitative part of the study, 84 participants were interviewed, including two children, two parents, two teachers, and a school administrator from each of the 12 regions. The results showed that the Internet access age for children has gradually decreased and that children's Internet access time has increased. An increase has also occurred in regard in the activities performed by children online, such as social networking and watching online movies or video clips, which adds up to an increase in the entertainment factor related to the Internet for children. A significant increase has also occurred in the number of children who feel uncomfortable when they are not online, seek new friends online, and receive general sexually explicit messages over the Internet due to the long hours that they spend online.