Siete connessi? Verso un uso consapevole dello smartphone tra i bambini e adolescenti
Nowadays, smartphones have become an indispensable companion in our life, especially among the younger population. The omnipresence of the smartphone has fueled a heated public debate about potential benefits and harms in adolescent development, where potential harms, including diminished psychological well-being, received by far the greater attention. Yet it is not the device per se that has an impact on well-being, but how its owner uses it. With the aim of fostering a smart use of the device, the present Agora project wants to stimulate a critical reflection among children, adolescents, parents, and the general public on (i) which are the main characteristics of the smartphone that make the device particularly attractive to young people, and (ii) how young people use the smartphone, and what consequences smartphone use and problematic smartphone use may have on their cognitive and mental well-being. In addition, the project wants to (iii) raise awareness about parents’ and, more generally, adults’ function as role models and on the different parental mediation strategies, which help to promote a conscious use of the smartphone among children and adolescents. The activities proposed within this communication project are informed by scientific research conducted by the applicant's research group at USI Università della Svizzera italiana, over the past seven years, as part of the MEDIATICINO project. The research project involved the collection of longitudinal data from a cohort of approximately 1400 students in Canton Ticino on digital media use and adolescent well-being, and it was partly financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation. The Agora project aims to complement the MEDIATICINO research project by allowing the follow-up communication of the main outputs beyond the scientific community. It will be conducted in close collaboration with L’ideatorio at USI Università della Svizzera italiana. L’Ideatorio has extensive experience in the development of communication activities to promote and communicate scientific results in the Ticino population, and it has already developed diverse projects for children and adolescents in close collaboration with local schools. In addition, L’ideatorio is very active in organising exhibitions and events for the general public, relying on an extensive network of stakeholders in Canton Ticino.