Ph.D. Defense of Dissertation: Sarita Yardi
- May 16, 2012 10:00 am
- ATDC, Suite 100 (next door to TSRB)
Ph.D. Defense of Dissertation Announcement
Title: Boundaries in Social Media: Supporting Parents in Managing Youth’s Social Media Use
School of Interactive Computing
College of Computing
When: Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 10:00AM
Where: ATDC, Suite 100 (next door to TSRB,
- Dr. Amy Bruckman, Advisor, College of Computing
- Dr. Danah Boyd, Microsoft Research New England
- Dr. Rebecca E. Grinter, College of Computing
- Dr. Mark Guzdial, College of Computing
- Dr. Cliff Lampe, University of Michigan
In less than ten years, the amount of time that youth spend with technology—texting, surfing, and chatting—has increased by an order of magnitude. The age that they acquire cell phones and laptops has also decreased dramatically. Parents are excited about the educational and social benefits of technology, but they are challenged to understand what their children are doing online and how much is too much. This question affects millions of parents daily in the U.S.
To address this challenge, my dissertation research has examined ways of supporting parents in managing their teens’ technology use. Using in-depth interviews and surveys, I will show how parents employ rules and tools to act as gatekeepers to technology access but that these approaches can be difficult to enforce. Results also suggest that parents’ technical ability predicts their ability to manage their children’s social media use. I will then describe the design, deployment, and evaluation of ParentNet, a year-long community-based online social network to support middle school parents in keeping up with social media. ParentNet is successful in generating community social support but places additional demands on parents’ time and attention. It also surfaces questions around parent monitoring, youth circumvention, and technology overuse and disconnection.
I will also show how parenting differs in diverse communities through a comparative study of technology use in high and low socioeconomic status (SES) homes. Coordination needs are similar across SES but family structure, responsibility, and parenting approaches vary. I will conclude with future work around developing scalable approaches to support parents, designing for extended family networks, and building systems to detect and visualize social media use at home.