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Saturday, October 13 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Family, Youth and the Quotidian Practices of Social Media

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Jodi Dworkin, Pooja Brar, Heather Hessel
We are only beginning to understand the ways in which young people are introducing technologies into the family system and the ways that is impacting family relationships. What seems clear is that the face-to-face relationship does not translate directly to the online context, and online communication is not completely replacing in-person family relationships. Despite the lack of existing research, it is reasonable to expect that family relationships impact how youth and parents use online media. Building on socialization theory, in the current study we considered the ways in which youth technology use impacts parent technology use in parent-child dyads from India and the U.S. (98 dyads; youth: 37% female; mean age=17.3; parents: 54.6% female; mean age=41.5). When considering frequency of six types of technology use in a series of linear regression analyses: 1) general use to look for information, news, and use online tools, 2) audio or video calls, 3) texting, instant messaging, discussion boards, or email, 4) sending or receiving audio or video, and photos, 5) create or maintain blogs, microblogs, or websites, and 6) social networking sites, child technology use accounted for 8.4% to 27.0% of the variance in parent use. Despite the small sample size, it is clear that child technology use is strongly associated with parent use, even when considering diverse ways of using technology. Future research should use longitudinal data to explore how children impact parents’ technology use over time – how that influence changes with age, sociohistorical time and place, and life transitions.

Lina Eklund, Helga Sadowski
Based on qualitative interview material, in this paper we analyze how contemporary Swedish families negotiate family intimacy with the help of Internet and communication technologies (ICTs). For this purpose, we conducted home-based group and individual interviews with members from 6 Swedish families (n=28) from the age of 14 to 84.

In our analysis we identified four interrelated ‘distances’ which complicate traditional understandings of intimacy (such as intimacy necessarily depending on face-to-face interaction), namely spatial, temporal, generational, and emotional distances, and explore concrete strategies of how families attempt to overcome those.

For this purpose, we draw on the concept of remediation (Bolter and Grusin 1999) in order to demonstrate how here intimacy itself is remediated into digitals realms. Our results show that families actively find ways of translating or re-creating intimate family settings, situations, and interactions into digital contexts. Thus, our study highlights the importance of digital technology use for the sustenance of intimacy in modern Swedish families, and additionally shows how users actively shape their ICT use in order to build and sustain family bonds.

Andra Siibak, Merike Lipu
Becoming a Facebook friend with your parent is one of the often used strategies parents use in order to mediate pre-teens’ social media use (Child and Petronio, 2011). Considering that various policy documents emphasize the role of parents and caregivers in protecting children’s privacy, personal data and online reputation we set out to explore how parents handle this task.

During summer 2017 semi-structured individual interviews were carried out with parents (n=15) and their 9-13 year old children (n=15) to study their experiences and reflections about their Facebook friendships. We especially focused on exploring their opinion and experiences with privacy and were interested in finding out if they had some unwritten rules or family regulations to guide their Facebook communication. Our interviews suggest that although parents are accustomed to using restrictive meditation and monitoring their children in Facebook; they seldom question or evaluate their own online behaviour in the light of the children’s rights and privacy. In fact, there is a big discrepancy in the attitudes of parents and pre-teens about if a parent should ask a permission to post about their child on social media. Furthermore, even when parents know that the child resents their sharenting practices, they still continue this practice despite the child’s wishes. The latter is also a reason why pre-teens in our sample were often frustrated by the posts their parents made, as they found many of their posts either “embarrassing” or simply “inappropriate”.

Saturday October 13, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm EDT
Sheraton - Salon 5