AN INVESTIGATION OF PRESCHOOL CHILDREN’S DIGITAL FOOTPRINTS AND SCREEN TIMES, AND OF PARENTS’ SHARENTING AND DIGITAL PARENTING ROLES

With rapid advances in technology, young children gain rich digital experiences by using various information and communication technologies in the home environment from an early age. Therefore, parents have an important role in selecting appropriate content, providing guidance, and monitoring their children’s digital activities. This study aims to investigate the activities of preschool children in digital environments, their screen time and digital footprints, as well as digital parenting roles within their families. The study’s sample consists of 628 preschool children and their parents. The study’s findings reveal that 97.5% of families have a television at home, 43.45% have desktop computers, 49% have laptop computers, 98.25% have smart phones, and 68% have tablets. Of the children participating in the study, 86% use information and communication technologies such as computers, tablets, or smartphones. Among parents, 68% share photos of their children on digital platforms. Parents also have concerns about the potential harm these technologies pose to children’s emotional development (f = 198), as well as the addictive and time-consuming nature of these technologies (f = 165). Regarding parents’ views on technology use in early childhood, 45.38% of parents are against it while 33.28% are in support of it, and 21.34% remain undecided. The study findings were discussed in the context of the related literature.

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