Internet in Social Reality of Russian Youth: Potential Risks and Opportunities


The paper is devoted to an empirical analysis of the role of the Internet in the everyday reality of Russian youth. The author notes that the unusual speed of the Internet spread in the life of Russian society made the circumstances of growing up of modern young Russians very specific. In fact, they became the first generation of Russian “digital natives”. Growing up in the conditions of the rapid spread of the Internet in society, many of them are used to perceiving the Internet as a natural and inalienable attribute of everyday reality. The author uses materials of secondary data analysis and the data of his sociological research among Russian youth to determine the role of the Internet in the social reality of youth and to find out the possible risks and opportunities that it can create. The empirical basis of the study is a questionnaire survey conducted by the author in 2018 among the youth of the city of Ekaterinburg, Russia. The key conclusion of the article is that the Internet is deeply integrated into the social reality of modern Russian youth. The growing importance of the Internet in life is a source of a number of risks, which include the formation of Internet addiction, increasing the vulnerability of young people to destructive content and the formation of a communicative gap between representatives of different generations. The Internet can also be used to broadcast information to a youth audience, to organize cooperation among young people, to popularize good practices and for other purposes.

Keywords: youth, Russian youth, Internet, “digital natives”, Russian society

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