New research into teens’ use of technology
The Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital focuses on the intersection of digital media and the mental, emotional, and physical health of youth. Their research spans from birth through young adulthood, which means they’re well equipped to help parents understand how technology affects their kids’ development.
Do teens follow your rules about technology?
You might be surprised. In the Digital Wellness Lab’s most recent Pulse Survey, Adolescent Media Use: Attitudes, Effects, and Online Experience, researchers expected to find that teens resent or reject the rules their families place on their time spent online. But the study found that teens are actually far more aligned with their family’s restrictions: While roughly a third of respondents reported having rules about content, websites, or apps they can’t use, over half (54%) said that these rules are “the right amount of restrictive.”
Teens want to protect themselves
The study also found that teens trusted the safety guardrails made by the tech and media companies behind their favorite devices and apps. They said they want to be able to protect themselves from harm by blocking other users, with 74% saying this was very or extremely important, and 56% said they appreciate clarity on privacy guidelines and rules for how their data is used.
When do teens’ technology habits form?
A teenager’s habits with interactive media and technology don’t emerge the day they turn 13 or when they receive their first device. These habits are built through modeling and practice throughout their childhood, which means you have plenty of opportunities to help your kids develop lifelong healthy and safe digital media habits.
How do you talk to kids about technology?
It’s easier than you might think. Try these five tips to keep a healthy conversation going throughout childhood and the teenage years: