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Internet-savvy? Filipino youth more at risk to pitfalls of digital media

International think tank DQ Institute has revealed the initial results of a new study that showed young Filipinos scoring below the global average in terms of discipline in using the internet.

The 2018 DQ World study measures the so-called digital quotient of the youth, defined as those aged 8 to 12 years old. The initial results were presented last month to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, according to DQ partner Globe Telecom.

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The study is meant to benchmark the “digital intelligence” of a given country. DQ gave the Philippines a screen time management score of 96. The global average stood at 100.

A score between 100 and 115 meant that children were more responsible while a score below 85 signaled high exposure to cyber risks and “unhealthy habits of digital usage.”

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The objective was to score above 115 “which means children can be considered as relatively disciplined users of digital media and technology.”

“Since the Filipino students’ screen time management is lower than average, it is recommended that students learn about safe digital use before they own any mobile device or actively engage in digital media,” Globe said in a statement.

DQ also had a slew of Philippines-specific data highlighting online risks faced by the country’s youth.

It noted the average Filipino child spent 34 hours per week (4.85 hours per day) in front of digital screens for entertainment—about two hours more than the global average.

Over 53 percent of the country’s youth access the internet through mobile phones, in line with the globe average. Another 41 percent access the internet through their family computers.

In a separate study in 2017, DQ noted 73 percent of young Filipinos were exposed to at least one cyber risk, the most prevalent of which was cyber bullying (61 percent) followed by online sexual behavior (29 percent). Other risks included meeting online strangers and video game addiction.

The Philippines was behind Oman (78 percent) in terms of cyber risks but ahead of Argentina (73 percent), Egypt and Indonesia (71 percent) and Vietnam (68 percent). Japan’s youth were the least at-risk with a score of 16 percent.

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Apart from screen time management, DQ’s study covered other factors, including digital citizen identity, privacy management, critical thinking, digital footprints, digital empathy, cyber security management and cyber bullying management.

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TAGS: digital media, discipline, DQ Institute, global average, International think tank, Internet, young Filipinos
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