Denise Agosto in The Conversation: Parental Concerns on Youth's Digital Media Use in Wake of Meta Lawsuit

A group of U.S. senators recently called on Meta, the tech giant behind Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, to provide documents related to the alleged mental and physical harms caused by its products to young people. This demand follows a lawsuit filed by 33 states, claiming that Meta knowingly designs addictive social media features to maximize profits, specifically targeting youth and teens.

While debates on the addictive nature of digital media persist among researchers, there is consensus on the concerns surrounding excessive smartphone use. Parents, in particular, grapple with managing digital media for children under 13. A recent study by College of Computing & Informatics' (CCI) Denise Agosto, PhD, professor of information science, and alumna Yuanyuan Feng, PhD information studies '18, sheds light on the worries and benefits parents associate with their kids' digital media use.

In a comprehensive study spanning 2019 to 2022, Agosto and Feng interviewed 17 Philadelphia parents from diverse backgrounds at Free Library of Philadelphia branches, aiming to explore how they navigate and manage media use within their families, with all participants being city residents with at least one child aged 5 to 11.

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