Surveillance and Privacy in the Digital Age: Some Paths for Parents-Children Relations in Digitalizing Society

Proceedings of The International Conference on Research in Social Sciences and Humanities

Year: 2019


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Surveillance and Privacy in the Digital Age: Some Paths for Parents-Children Relations in Digitalizing Society

Fuat Güllüpinar




This research focuses on the risks that children may face on digital communication platforms and the ways to cope with these risks, improving the children’s perceptions of privacy, as well as the principles of limiting an over-controlling super-supervision practice on children through parents’ use of the Internet. For this purpose, a sociological analysis was made on the possibilities and limitations of children’s autonomy and privacy on digital communication platforms by scanning field researches on children, internet, privacy and parent-child relationships of the digital age in the national and international area. The development and spread of digital communication platforms have expanded the communication networks of people by creating both diverse and multidimensional activity areas. As the communication network and its dimensions expanded, the rules of how and to what extent the communication forms of people would be realized began to take a vague and ambiguous form.  It is not expected that the personal space, the sense of privacy and ethical codes that define the boundaries of communication would develop as fast as the means of communication. As a result, as a branch of digital platforms, the subject of new media in which social relations are experienced has brought about debates about personal and public space, surveillance and privacy and autonomy and ethics. If parents can make it a habit to act with some basic principles in their relationships with children in the digital world , children can establish a secure internet environment, an improved sense of privacy, and a parent-child relationship based on trust: Parents should follow these principles as they are guiding their children through digital communication platforms: Embracing and accepting the child’s world, teaching children to be respectful while using communication tools; Formulating and experiencing screen-free times together; using parental control tools for computers and similar devices while reaching to an agreement with children about their limitations; Helping children manage their digital coverage and reputation on social media: Mentioning the Golden Rule… (Do not write or do something on Skype, Facebook or any other social media platform that you would not say/do while face to face with someone!); To determine the principles for dowloads and for the time to use the internet and where to use these tools; Instead of threatening to pull the plug, reassuring children that they can share things that might be frightening, doubtful, shameful and ridiculing for them.

Keywords: Digital society, parent-children relations, surveillance, privacy, network sites.