Worryingly, a third of teenagers meet up with their online ‘friends’

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27th October 2014 15:30 - Information Technology

A survey, conducted on behalf of BBC Newsbeat, has revealed that a third of teenagers in the UK have met up with ‘friends’, who they met online.

Psychologist at the University of Bedfordshire, Dr Emma Short, deems the number of teenagers meeting up with people they meet online to be ‘worrying’.

The survey of 1,015 British teens also suggested that 25% of respondents feel happier when they are online as opposed to real-life.

Despite this, the findings show that real-life relationships are still more valuable than those that are online. 66% of respondents claimed that how many friends they had in real life was more important to them. 28% claimed that the number of followers and ‘friends’ online was more important.

The research confirmed that social media is a vital aspect of teenagers’ lives as only 1% claim to have never checked social media for social purposes.

The most popular of social media platforms is Facebook with 89% of respondents having an account. 62% admit to having a Twitter account and 58% have a Snapchat account.

The research also found that:

·         62% of teens considered their friends to be addicted to social media.

·         25% deemed themselves to be addicted to social media.

·         25% wish that they could give up their social media habits.

·         13% feel that their friends off social media know them better than offline friends.

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