E-nõustamisfoorumite efektiivsus ja nende kasutamise praktikad eesti noorte seas



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Tartu Ülikool



The Internet has become an integral part of young people’s lives. It is ’their’ medium, they are the pioneers in the cyber-space, developing online competencies and literacies, gaining confidence and expertise as a result (Livingstone 2004). They do not hesitate to look for information concerning their intimate problems on the Internet because it is an accessible and anonymous method of seeking help. However, there is very little knowledge of the popularity and effeciency of online counselling forums among Estonian youth. The aim of this Bachelor’s thesis "The effectivity and usage practices of online advice-seeking forums among Estonian youngsters" is to study youngsters’ motivations in accessing the Internet for seeking advice and to learn about their usage practices of online counselling. In addition, the present thesis analyses the efficiency of Estonian help-seeking environments and makes suggestions on developing them. Data for the present study were obtained through two focus group interviews with young people who have used counselling forums. Also two efficiency experiments were carried out in order to analyse whether it is possible for adolecents to get adequate help from Estonian online forums. The results of this study showed that online sources play a partial role in youngsters’ information and advice seeking. However, online forums have been welcomed as providing information on taboo subjects concerning relationships and sexuality. Therefore anonymity plays the key role in accessing those forums. Surprisingly, the usage rate of online advice-seeking environments among the interviewees turned out to be very high. Although they, contrary to the typical net generation stereotype, seldom post their own questions, the participants surf the forums to obtain information from previously posted questions and answers up to five times a week. Therefore, the online forums prove to be far more popular with and vital to Estonian youngsters than previously thought. Altough adult forums may provide helpful feedback, it occurs that teen forums in Estonia are still relatively incapable of assuring youngsters the help they are looking for. Considering the shortage and superficiality of answers and lack of socially competent counsellors, the service is unable to complete its purpose effectively. Counselling forums are vital for opening oneself and obtaining, if lucky, consolation or moral support but when it comes to solving their problem they mostly feel left alone. Estonian youngsters’ adivce-seeking forums are lacking publicity, moderators and the contribution of professional consultants who would ensure that everyone gets adequate help.