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Children and Smart Mobile Devices: Place, Presence, Privacy
In 2015, Ofcom announced that “the UK is now a smartphone society”, revealing that almost two thirds of the UK population own a smartphone, with the starting age 3 for using any smart mobile device (e.g. smartphone, tablet). Equipped with location determination technologies, one of the defining aspects of smart mobile devices is their ability to know where they are at any given point in time. This is one of the reasons why most parents are happily buying smartphones for their children: to ensure their safety and security. However, many smartphone users turn the location tracking features of their phones or apps off, because they are worried about their privacy. Hence, there is a trade-off between feeling safe and secure, and issues around privacy and surveillance. Additionally, smart mobile devices have the potential to transform our experiences of places through providing a form of constant connectivity, which is highly pervasive, but at the same time, increasingly place-specific. Therefore, they impact the ways we interact with each other and on our perception of physical distance and presence as well as our understanding of notions related to privacy. Although the use of smart mobile devices, especially children’s use of smartphones, have attracted both academic and industry interest, children’s perception of place, presence and privacy in relation to their use of mobile smart devices is still an under-researched topic. This project attends to this key gap in research: children’s use of smart mobile devices and their perception of place, presence, and privacy. In doing so, it also attends to another important research problematic: mobile parenting and locational tracking of children. This research project aims to describe how children make meanings of their interactions with people and places through smart mobile devices.
1 Researchers
  • IOE - Culture, Communication & Media
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Status: Complete
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