Chapter 6: Technology Use by Parents
Interview at least three different parents about their technology use. Compare and contrast what you hear from them in terms of the ways in which they use technology to support their parenting. Do they follow blogs or post on discussion forums? Do they use social media for connections with friends about parenting? Or might some of the parents not use technology at all for assistance in parenting Perhaps they search for information, but nothing more. Do they parent about technology (as in monitoring their children’s use)? Compare and contrast what you learn from the parents. In what ways do they differ in their use of technology to support themselves as parents?
Livingstone and Blum-Ross write about “sharenting” (2017) when parents blog and microblog (such as in social media feeds). They challenge the value of blogging as a way of strengthening parent identity through self-expression, arguing instead that it compromises details of the child’s or family’s life. Select at least five blogs by parents, preferably all mothers or all fathers, and review at least 5–10 posts in each. Get a sense of the content of each post and of the overall themes presented by the blog. Compare the blogs. What is your take on the degree to which parents overshare and potentially compromise their children’s identity and agency? What is your take on the value to parents’ own confidence, validation of their choices as parents, and development?
Inspect a random selection of apps related to pregnancy and childbirth. (You may want to create a junk email account to gain access to more internal features.) In your review, determine the real purpose of the apps, who is distributing them, and what they get in return for your free use. Examine the information provided. Is it scientifically and medically sound? How would you know? Which of the apps (if any) would you recommend to someone who is pregnant?