Episode 102: Parenting and media technology with Sonia Livingstone & Lynn Schofield Clark

A lot of parents nowadays are concerned about their children spending too much time on screens. We begin by discussing how screen time is inevitable in this post-pandemic era and that screen time itself might not be the problem. Lynn shares her own parenting experiences to state that parents also can use screen time and technology to build a good children-parent relationship and bond the family together. We then discuss the relationship between screen time and young people’s mental health, pointing out that the problem lies somewhere else instead of timing itself and we should consider other contexts like personal life when it comes to young people’s mental health. Also, regarding issues like “policing” and children’s rights, the key is the balance, and how parents use technology to create a wholesome societal environment are discussed. 

Sonia Livingstone is a professor in the Department of Media and Communication at London School of Economics and Political Science. Much of Sonia’s research focuses on children’s rights in the digital age. Sonia has published 20 books on media audiences, especially on children and young people’s risks and opportunities, media literacy and rights in the digital environment, including The Class: Living and Learning in the Digital Age  (New York University Press, with Julian Sefton-Green) (view here). Her new book is Parenting for a Digital Future: How hopes and fears about technology shape children’s lives (Oxford University Press), with Alicia Blum-Ross (view here). 

Lynn Schofield Clark is a media critic and researcher focused on media studies and film studies. She is a prize-winning author of several books and articles on the role social and visual media play in the lives of diverse U.S. adolescents. In her 2017 book co-authored with Regina Marchi, Young People and the Future of News, Clark and Marchi utilize an ethnographic approach to tell the stories of how young people engage with social media and legacy media both as producers and consumers of news. The book received the 2018 Nancy Baym Book Award from the Association of Internet Researchers and the 2018 James Carey Media Research Award from the Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research  Clark’s book regarding parenting in the digital age is titled The Parent App: Understanding Families in a Digital Age (Oxford University Press, 2012). Clark’s main contributions are in the areas of family media studies, media rich youth participatory action research and the mediatization (media) of world religions.

A full transcript of this episode will be available soon!

Here are some of the references from this episode, for those who want to dig a little deeper:

Parenting in the Age of Screen

Parental mediation theory for the digital age

The parent app: Understanding families in the digital age

Young People and New Media: Childhood and the Changing Media Environment

Gradations in digital inclusion: Children, young people and the digital divide

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In Time (Instrumental) by Dylan Emmet  

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