Digital childhood and youth: Life with screens

Caton, Lucy and Green, Mel (2023). Digital childhood and youth: Life with screens. In: Cooper, Victoria and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi eds. An Introduction to Childhood and Youth Studies and Psychology. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, pp. 186–199.



Children and young people’s lives have become enmeshed in technological developments that offer engaging, interactive, and thrilling online opportunities. This chapter shows how digital media have created a new ‘hybrid’ reality and makes the case that amid considerable discussion of children and young people’s hybrid lives, concerns for their wellbeing need to focus on what ‘screens’ are used for rather than how much time is spent on them, and on ensuring children’s rights are secured by designing digital environments that are not exploitative. Amid considerable inequalities between and within countries in device and internet access, the chapter focuses on childhoods in the global North to examine case studies and examples of digital play, learning, and physical development. It makes the case that children and young people’s own views and experiences can enhance understandings of the opportunities and challenges digital technologies present.

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