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Third of youth depressed after being attacked on social media

More than a third of young people have felt depressed as a result of something written or posted on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, according to a UK survey.

The poll also found that online bullying affects a huge number of young people, with nearly one in five teenagers aged 16 to 18 admitting that they have been targeted.

A similar number in the UK also said social media websites always or often made them feel inadequate to their peers, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

The statistics, compiled by YouGov for the Prince's Trust Youth Index, paint a worrying picture of the online lives of young children and highlights the dangers of the internet, the paper said.
Worryingly for parents, 39 per cent of young people aged 16 to 25 said they are friends with people online whom they had never met and whose identities they had no way of verifying.

This figure rose to 46 per cent – nearly half of all those quizzed – for children aged 16 to 18, presenting disturbing questions about who they interact with online.

The survey also showed that one in ten young people aged 16 to 25 have been bullied online while one in five have witnessed more bullying online than in person.

Girls seemed to have more negative experiences than boys, according to the research, which was based on interviews with 2,136 youngsters in the age group of 16 to 25.

Girls also said they had felt depressed as a direct result of something they had seen on a social networking site.

In total, more than a third of young people aged 16 to 25 had experienced this.

Nearly half of all girls polled said they regularly compared themselves to their peers online, while a third of males admitted doing this.

Girls are also more likely to be bullied online, with 16 per cent admitting they had been targeted compared to 11 per cent of men.

Young people aged 16 to 18 were also far more likely to be bullied online, with 18 per cent suffering abuse, compared to 15 per cent of those aged 19 to 21 and ten per cent of those aged 22 to 25.

One in five females quizzed also said that social media websites made them feel inadequate to their peers, compared with one in ten males.

However, there were also positive results, with 23 per cent of young people polled saying that the internet gave them a sense of community and friendship that they didn't have in real life.

The survey also found that nearly a third of young people always or often felt lonely, with those who are unemployed significantly more likely to feel this way.


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