Young People In The U.K. Go Online For Advice

    March 18, 2010

The majority (86%) of young people in Britain go online to find help with personal problems, instead of seeking advice from a family member or friend.

The findings come from a poll of 1,000 people under 25 commissioned by Get Connected, a national helpline line in the UK, and conducted by Maximiles Surveys.

Online one third of young people would turn to their mother to discuss a problem and just 5 percent would speak to their father. Fifty percent did say they would be likely to talk to a friend.

More than half (53%) of young people who have surfed the Internet to search for help with a problem found the information actually made them more concerned they were before. Only 18 percent said they would double check any information they found online with another source like a friend or parent.

"These results show that there is a need for young people to be able to verify the information that they find online, and in many cases that the vast amount of information available on the Internet seems to exacerbate their personal worries further," said Andrew McKnight, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Get Connected.


  "As a society we have become increasingly reliant on the Internet as a first point of reference for a lot of information, and it is crucial that we make Britain’s young people aware of exactly where they can turn to for dependable information and support. Get Connected is the safe gateway to these services."

Young people’s preference for using the Internet to look for advice is reflected by the continued increase in incoming contacts online to Get Connected over the past year. Since the launch of its Web chat service in 2006, almost one in ten (8%) of all enquiries are now made via instant messaging. More young people (13%) are also choosing to contact the charity for help and support through email.

"Young people in Britain have grown up with the internet and mass communication engrained as a part of their daily lives," said Fiona Clark, Chief Executive, Get Connected.

"Beyond their family and friends they need trusted sources to help them make an informed choice, whatever the problem may be."