As the integration of ICT technologies in young people’s lives has changed the context in which they are growing up, there has been increasing interest in exploring, conceptualizing, and understanding the opportunities and the risks being created in the digital era.
The emergence of information and communication technologies (ICT) has increasingly mediated all aspects of young people’s lives as they engage daily in multiple online practices in various spaces such as their homes, schools, and communities, but also ‘on the move’, through the use of portable devices and wireless connection.
As the integration of these technologies in young people’s lives has changed the context in which they are growing up, there has been increasing interest in exploring, conceptualizing, and understanding the opportunities and the risks being created in the digital era.
It is crucial to identify the main patterns of risk manifestation related to the social media and online presence of youth in Greece as they could lead to future adverse effects. Understanding the generation and accumulation of vulnerability is essential to managing risks effectively. The identified patterns can be divided into two categories: exposure and vulnerability.
Exposure refers to the elements in online environments, including social media, where risks can occur, such as the amount of time spent online, frequency of visits, type of environments visited, and interests.
Vulnerability pertains to contextual conditions, including cultural, social, environmental, political, and economic factors, that can result in risks due to exposure to hazards that are more likely to cause harm to certain groups of people. Elements of vulnerability may include gender (such as peer pressure), age (such as the use of non-filtered vocabulary by teenagers), level of critical thinking, lack of education on the subject, lack of curiosity to explore, absence of theoretical understanding of hidden ideologies behind news, uncontrolled online content, lack of multiple sources of information, and no cross-checking of sources.