Niels-Christian Bilenberg, pedagogical consultant, CfDP
[caption id="attachment_14942" align="alignright" width="310"] Overall activity since 2005. Please click for larger image.[/caption]
What is an inquiry? An inquiry, for example, covers a chat conversation, a post in the debate forum, a picture, or a comment on a blog. The right-hand graph shows the development of Cyberhus’ collective activities since the beginning in 2005.
If we take a closer look at the total number of inquiries, we notice that young people still increasingly use Cyberhus as a platform where they mirror themselves in others and seek advice among their peers.
Increasingly Youth-to-Youth rather than Youth-to-Adult?
The graph below represents how young people’s activity on Cyberhus has developed over the past 5 years in regards to Cyberhus’ two general categories; Youth-to-Youth
which accommodates Cyberhus’ Debate forum, Images, Secrets, and Blogs, and our Youth-to-Adult
section which accommodates Cyberhus’ 1-1-Chat, Youth-inChat, and Problem pages.
[caption id="attachment_14941" align="aligncenter" width="310"]
Youth-to-Youth and Youth-to-Adult. Please click for larger image.[/caption]
It may seem as though youth would rather seek advice among their peers over adult counsellors. But that is not quite the case. In order to understand this, we have to take a closer look at the numbers.
The number of conversations in our 1-1-Chat has decreased significantly over the past 3 years, however the reason for this is not because of a lacking interest from youth. In 2013 we carried out 2002 conversations. In 2014, the number was 1503, and in 2015 we counted 1252 conversations.
In order to understand the decreasing numbers, they have to be viewed in perspective to the opening hours of our 1-1-Chat which were also cut down during this time. June of 2014, we had to cut down our opening hours due to lack of funding. Our 1-1-Chat is always monitored by a paid coordinator whose tasks include supporting our volunteer counsellors and as such, securing the quality of our counselling work as well as establishing a safe space for each volunteer. This change has not been fully implemented until 2015 by which time we have had “new” opening hours for a full year. The graph below shows how the number of opening hours and conversations has changed.
[caption id="attachment_14943" align="alignright" width="310"]
Number of chat-hours and conversations. Please click for larger image.[/caption]
In order to get a more comparable number of completed chat conversations, we have to take a look at the number of conversations we have completed per hour. Doing this, we see that we have actually succeeded in completing more conversations an hour. In both 2013 and 2014, we completed on average 1,6 conversations per hour. In 2015, we completed 2 conversations per hour, and since the average length of a conversation has not decreased, we must view the increase as an expression that we simply have had the opportunity to open more lines simultaneously. The number of volunteers is continually unchanged, but is now distributed over a less number of hours.
Not a case of fewer who chat
Although we have completed a lower number of conversations in our 1-1-Chat, the number of participants in our other chatrooms have increased correspondingly. Our group chats have had 1107 participants, which is an increase by more than 20% compared to the year 2014. Even though the focus of group chats is to give youth the opportunity to support each other, it is important to point out that at least one adult counsellor is always present.
2015 also marked the year in which we welcomed our Youth-in municipalities-collaboration. In 2015, counsellors with youth counselling of Bispebjerg started having their own chatroom on Cyberhus, targeting youth in Copenhagen. Copenhagen youth found their way to this counselling 99 times.
More chats coming
Similar to our previous years, 2015 was filled with life-affirming conversations, difficult questions, beautiful images, and bold secrets. In our group chat, we had great success inviting young people to dedicatedly participate in debates on alcohol, and 2015 also marked the year where we created a foundation to building our strived for bridge between Cyberhus’ several volunteers, and municipal initiatives targeting children and young people. This is a development we will follow closely in 2016, by which we will also see the municipalities of Ringkøbing-Skjern and Aarhus open their own chat on Cyberhus.
If you would like more information on Cyberhus’ chat-collaboration with municipalities in Denmark, please contact head of centre, Anni Marquard, email@example.com