Document Type

Working Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Media and socio-cultural communication

Publication Details

Digital Childhoods Working Paper Series (No.4)


For good or ill, the internet is now very much part of children’s lifestyles today. Indeed, it is hardly possible to approach contemporary childhood – its possibilities and its risks – without understanding the degree to which information and communications technologies (ICTs) are embedded in every aspect of young people’s lives. For policy makers, the fast pace of change in the technology sector represents an additional challenge and effective interventions to protect children as well as promote positive opportunities sometimes struggle to keep up an environment that continues to evolve rapidly. There is also a tension between some of the competing responses that children’s use of the internet evokes: whether children are viewed as ‘digital natives’ or as helpless victims of online threats, there is a difficult balancing act between promoting use of the internet as something positive and beneficial for young people’s futures, whilst seeking to minimize risks they may encounter in an environment that is difficult to regulate.




Irish Research Council