Very young children online: media discourse and parental practice
Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand
Place of Publication
School of Arts and Humanities
In 2014, the Australian Research Council awarded funding for a Discovery Project exploring the risks and benefits 0-5s face online. One element of this research was to investigate public discourses around very young children’s (0-5) use of touchscreen technologies. Based on analysis of data collected from the public sphere and popular media over a twelve-month period (April 2015 to March 2016), the authors find that Australian parents still express confusion and guilt concerning their very young children’s media use. Many news, magazine and blogger commentaries collected were alarmist in tone and did not resonate with parents’ experiences of everyday digital life with very young children. Instead of accepting dominant discourses around zero to very little digital time for under-5s, parents are sharing and developing their practices that work for them, but this does not stop them feeling techno-guilt.