MediaSmarts Blog

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As a kid, did you ever hide a flashlight under your pillow? Then pull it out after you were supposed to be asleep, so you could sneak in another half-hour of reading?

I did that. A lot.

We got a new tech toy at Christmas this year – a Google Home. I must admit, I’d only learned that such a device existed a couple of weeks before I ordered one as a gift for my husband. I wasn’t sure what it would do or how we would use it, but it seemed like fun and it was on sale, so I picked one up.

Few issues capture our anxiety about young people and digital media so perfectly as sexting. As with technologies at least as far back as the telegraph, much of this anxiety has focused specifically on girls and women.

When screens started being part of our daily lives – not just for work, but for entertainment, communication, and news – we parents had to do some serious thinking. What would the rules be? How would we govern these new devices? What were the best choices?

Cyberbullying tweets from the President of the United States. Sexism in Silicon Valley. Fake news from social media feeds fuelling online hate.

It’s been a rough year so far on the digital media landscape.