Chapter 12: Shifting the Culture: Policy, Practice and Research toward Healthy Family Technology Use

12.4 Blog Prompts

Reflect back on the content from the beginning of the book about technology and society, tech’s functions, and warnings about its benefits and its challenges, thinking through to the many ways in which families use and are affected by technology, and to professionals’ use. Now that you’ve reached the end of the course and have reflected on myriad topics affecting your own use, your use with friends and family, and future perspectives, how, if at all, have your perspectives about technology changed? If things haven’t shifted for you, why might that be? Are you inspired to make any changes? How about your role as family professional? How do you see yourself integrating technology in your practice and in ways that build on new research?

In 2018, Pew reported that a majority of people in the U.S. disagreed that the internet has been good for society. What do you believe, and why?

This piece in Bold cites researcher Candace Odgers, who advocates for closing the digital gap for youth (Odgers was also mentioned in Chapter 5). She says that “closing the digital divide will require public and private investments in infrastructure, equipment, and digital literacy across multiple sectors” and “will need to involve young people in designing solutions that will stick.” Recommendations target  parents, teachers, the tech industry, and policymakers. And they focus on improving youth well-being and mental health, and on ensuring privacy and security. This is a tall order. These policy recommendations cut across home, school, community, industry, and government. How might such a shift in digital equity and youth well-being be possible? Is it top down?

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