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Our youngest is about to turn 14, and that means it’s time for the last member of our family to get her own cell phone.
We decided back when our oldest was heading off to high school that age 14, Grade 9, is cell phone time for our family. We’ve been happy with that decision – it seemed like the right time in terms of maturity, and also it became clear that having a phone to use in class at high school was beneficial and even expected.
Our older two teens are close to finishing high school, and we’re starting to think about moving them into the adult phase of their lives. That means managing their own online presence and technology, and making sure they have full ownership of their profiles.
I feel like I should knock wood when I say this, but it feels like maybe, someday, this lockdown might be over.
We’re still in rocky days as I write this, with active cases not dropping off as much as we all would like, and shops and attractions not as open as we would hope. But the vaccine is getting out there, albeit slowly, and some of the people we know have even received it already. Progress is being made, and we can start to dream of a time when life opens up again and we feel safer and more able to do the things we love to do.
Meet Sasha. At age 8, she’s a real social butterfly, both online and off, and is very concerned with how the world sees her: she spends a lot of time making sure she looks good in photos online but doesn’t always think twice about who might see them. Violet is Sasha’s older sister and her polar opposite: she’s a hardcore gamer, and just as tough as her Level 65 Barbarian. Though she despairs of her sister sometimes, she’s also fiercely protective of her and will unleash her considerable wrath on anyone she thinks is picking on Sasha.
This blog was written by Samantha McAleese and three youth participants – Sahil, Erin, and Kate (pseudonyms used to maintain anonymity).
Reflections on Conducting Qualitative Research During a Pandemic
What comes to mind when you hear the word algorithm? Can you explain how machine learning works? Do you have any privacy or data collection concerns regarding the increased reliance on artificial intelligence? These are just a few of the questions that we asked young people in our recent qualitative research project Algorithmic Awareness: Conversations with Young Canadians about Artificial Intelligence and Privacy. From November 2020 to January 2021, we facilitated eight focus groups with 22 youth ages 13 to 17, where we combined game-based learning with discussion and reflection to gain insight into how young Canadians understand the relationship between artificial intelligence, algorithms, and privacy.