Informatization and gadgetization of modern society and childhood
Abstract. This article considers the processes of informatization and gadgetization of society and childhood. The study aims to describe major trends and effects of integrating information and technological components into daily, family, social, industrial, economic, political and cultural practices. The research objectives are to elucidate the directions of these processes, identify and describe their positive and negative impacts on modern society. The authors place particular emphasis on children as the most mobile (“quickly absorbing” trends and innovations) and, along with it, vulnerable socio-demographic group, less adaptive than adults. The paper presents the conclusions from topic studies (some involving participation of the authors) conducted by means of sociological surveys and in-depth interviews. The results demonstrate that informatization and gadgetization are actual and relevant processes, though fragmentarily studied. Along with it, they appear very ambiguous. Their positive impacts include increased opportunities for self-realization, self-presentation, and fulfillment of cognitive needs, as well as growing resources and mobility. As for the negative influence, it embraces a constant information flow (sometimes destructive to health) requiring new information filtering skills; updating of the information security problem; a clip, fragmentary, and superficial character of the younger generations’ thinking; replacement of actual social connections and identities by virtual ones; transformation of status attributes, etc. The authors conclude that in the era of digital technology it is adults’ responsibility to orient and educate children. Parents need to exercise a flexible children control by helping tem through information reflection, being attentive to their needs and interests, and constructing sensitive, trusting, emotionally intense relationships.
Keywords: informatization, information society, gadget, childhood, childhood gadgetization, social networks, information security
The reported study was funded by RFBR according to the research project №18–311-00348 “Transformation of child-parent relations in the era of informatization of society.”
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