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ERIC Number: ED550640
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 179
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2678-9643-8
Social Media at the Boundaries: Supporting Parents in Managing Youth's Social Media Use
Yardi, Sarita A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Georgia Institute of Technology
With millions of youth on the Internet in the U.S., millions of parents are trying to understand what their children are doing and why. Understanding how technology use impacts youth learning, growth, and social development is critical for their health and wellbeing and for the welfare of the family. Yet, balancing parent authority with teen privacy and autonomy is difficult. This dissertation research investigates ways of supporting parents in managing their children's technology and social media use. This work was inspired by the observation that as kids increasingly use social media ubiquitously and pervasively throughout their daily lives, parents struggle to know how to best raise their children in this environment. My formative study with parents revealed three challenges: *It is difficult for parents to keep up with changes in social media *Parents feel that their kids know more about technology than they do. *Parents have neither the time, nor the inclination, to surveil their kids all the time. I designed, implemented, and evaluated an online social network called ParentNet for parents to support them in keeping up with their children's social media use. I found that technical ability predicts parents' ability to effectively parent their kids' social media use. In particular, parents struggled to monitor time, frequency, and location of use. They wanted technical tools to help them monitor use, community-level support to know what other parents did, and policy level decisions that guided their rule-setting for their children. Youth and parent attitudes towards social media also varied among different social groups. My study of family technology use showed that parenting social media echoes challenges of earlier technologies, but was also affected by new dynamics like mobility and pervasiveness. Parenting is a dynamic process and parents' strategies both shape and are shaped by social media. HCC research has largely focused on putting technology in people's hands to try to improve their lives in some way. My research extends this work through the design and deployment of ParentNet, but also surfaces tensions around technology anxiety and overuse. My work also brings a critical lens to the study of technology in social relationships and suggests opportunities for HCC research to think about how to design against overuse. The contributions of this research are: (1) empirical studies of challenges parents face in managing youth technology use; (2) the design and deployment of a community-based online social network called ParentNet; and (3) limitations and design considerations for deploying technological interventions for different social groups. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A