NEW MEDIA AND PARENTAL MEDIATION: ASSESSING AWKA URBAN PARENTS’ AWARENESS AND ATTITUDE TO ADOLESCENTS USE OF FACEBOOK

Chibuike Julius Nwosu (PhD), Adobi Olivia Okeke (PhD), Nankyen Rinmak Lukan

Abstract


Research has shown that Facebook with its distinct qualities has got the potential to attract young people, especially, adolescents. The rate at which these young people surf, navigate and/or explore social media platforms is so alarming and therefore increasingly bothersome. However, more worrisome is the fact that these young children take advantage of the gateless nature of the social media to go through different unholy sites, consequently exposing themselves to grossly harmful explicit sexual contents. However, in the face of these challenges, it becomes even a greater source of worry that parents of these children, who supposedly should constitute a sort of gate keeping process in other to control how and what their adolescent children do with the social media appear to lack the parental mediating skills to do this. This research work therefore investigated the level of parental mediation towards their children’s use of Facebook. The study made use of the survey research design. Using Taro Yamane sample determining approach, the study arrived at a sample size of 400. The study was anchored on Knowledge Attitude and Practice and Parental Mediation Theories. Findings demonstrate that Parents in Awka Urban have enough knowledge of the different strategies that are used to control or interpret media contents. Although they are aware of parental mediation strategies in controlling their children’s Facebook usage, their awareness did not translate to considerable practice of such strategies. Parents were also found to be aware of their children’s ownership and use of Facebook, but do not really know what they consume online. Against the foregoing therefore, the study concludes that the use of social media among adolescents has remained unprecedented and that this development to some extent seems to leave these children vulnerable to dangers that are associated with unrestrained social media use. The researchers consequently recommend that in line with the standard of mediating the usage of technology among children around the globe, parents, especially in the developing countries; Nigeria in particular should not only learn but apply the use of monitoring apps as an aid in checking their children’s social media use. This is because these apps will help them check and closely scrutinize the media contents that their children consume online and find a way to control it.


Keywords


Adolescent, Facebook, mediation, Parental mediation, Awareness, Attitude

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