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Live chat: Youth obsession with technology

Categories: Community, Science & Technology

Join our live chat Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. about youth tech obsession. (Shutterstock)

In today's digital world, the average teenager has 300 Facebook friends, 79 Twitter followers and sends more than 3,000 texts a month, according to a recent report.

It's a far cry from how many of their parents grew up, and many researchers and media experts are rushing to study the effects this digital permeation is having on new generations of kids. How did this tech obsession start? And where is it headed?

Current research from the Pew Internet and American Life project has shown technology is already having an effect on teens -- from how personal privacy is perceived, to their abilities to create intimate friendships.

CBC health reporter Pauline Dakin has discovered this in her research behind her series 'Re-Wiring our Kids,' which launched this week on The National. She takes a look at how social media is affecting teens, what parents should do, and what experts are advocating.

Do you have questions about your own teens' internet use? Should kids have free reign online, or should parents and teachers be more involved in creating boundaries? What is the role of tech companies in all this?

Our Live panel discussed these issues in a live chat Wednesday. Replay the conversation below, featuring experts:

  • Pauline Dakin is a Halifax-based health reporter for CBC who has won several awards for her reporting, including a Michener citation. She spearheaded CBC's 'Re-Wiring our Kids' series about youth obsession with technology. She is also a mom of two.

  • Dr. Michael Rich is a pediatrician and parent who previously worked as a Hollywood filmmaker for 12 years. He is the director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health.

  • Dr. Phil McRae is an executive staff officer with the Alberta Teacher's Association and adjunct professor at the University of Alberta where he earned his PhD. He has written on this topic, including a paper on the impact of technology of children, schools and communities

To join the chat, simply:

  • Click on "Sign In" inside the Spreecast window.
  • You will be prompted to connect with Facebook, Twitter or an email address. Choose one, sign in and follow the prompts to access the chat.

  • To ask the guest a question, click on the "Camera" button. One of our producers will send you a private message before bringing you up live.

  • To ask a text-based question, click "Submit Question," and type it in, or expand the window and join the live chat in the right-hand box.

** Your connection will work best if you have a strong Wi-Fi connection or a direct broadband connection. You'll also need the latest version of Flash installed, a well-lit room and a set of headphones.

Tags: Community, Technology

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