A Critical Review of Social Screen Time Management by Youngsters in Formal Educational Contexts

A Critical Review of Social Screen Time Management by Youngsters in Formal Educational Contexts

Enrickson Varsori (University of Minho, Portugal) and Sara Pereira (University of Minho, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8163-5.ch008
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Several studies value the importance of technologies in everyday social processes, stressing loudly its positive effects for time control and management. However, the use of digital technology is increasingly said to co-produce the ways youngsters experience daily lives, as these are increasingly weaved in media hyperconnections, in several insidious and multiple forms, and in a continuous and enduring manner. This text focuses on the state of the art about the extension and nature of these co-productive processes, highlighting the effects of the technological means of communication on youngster's time representations and experiences, namely considering the social networks and other interactional devices that are now constituting increasingly more the individual identity, despite its intangibleness. The goal is to critically analyze the existing literature on time, technology, and youth, presenting its main contributions from a conceptual, methodological and practical point of view, including the use and the ways in media hyperconnections.
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The perspectives and understandings on the simultaneities of time in modern society (Araújo, 2007) include the analysis of transformations occurring in representations and often attributed to technologies. Several authors have devoted themselves to this phenomenon (Adam, 1990; Castoriadis, 1991; Zimbardo & Boyd, 2009), considering that the changes that have occurred in the last decades brought significant changes in daily life, including learning and education. In fact, time analysis constitutes a pertinent method of understanding modern society in many domains, including the processes of globalization, the penetration of technoscience and social imaginaries (Boltanski & Thévenot, 2006; Giddens, 1984). It is particularly important for analyzing youth cultures and how young people build their daily lives and attribute meaning. Agger (2011), for example, argues that the young people’s rhythms of life are shaped by the their “ITime”, a time that is attributed by the needs and desires of living the instantaneous present. Moreover, a wide range of authors (Manovich, 2002; Turkle, 2011) has proposed other approaches on the impacts of the progressive use of technologies as integral components of the self-identity.

Rivotella (2010) affirms that the current society is multi-screens, a consequence of the new literacies that reach youngsters in learning and socialization contexts. From the literature, it can be observed that the media, in general, including technologies, are a fundamental part of the discourses about contemporary social transformations of youth (Buckingham, 2008; Livingstone, 2002) and constitute important topics to study departing from the perceived experiences of the times and spaces in daily life.

Several studies address young people and their life experiences (Boyd, 2014; Pais, 2007; Selwyn, 2013). However, the literature on the representations of time in the use of these technologies and on how they shape the activities of these subjects in everyday life is scarce (Blanco, Miguel, & Arraz, 2016; Johnson & Keane, 2017). What we do know is that the reconfiguration of everyday life is often happening in the most diverse contexts of life and that the uses and perceptions of time are being shaped by the power of the technological culture construction (Fuchs, 2014; Lipovetsky, 2016), which is an agent of new cultures of time and temporality, against universes whose norms remain associated with linear and monochrome disciplinary models, as it happens in formal education contexts. To discuss these issues, in particular the technical acceleration diagnosed by Rosa (2015), it is crucial to problematize the time spent using the media, which is also part of young people’s “daily budget” and become an extension of the continuous time non-use of media, along with other traditional time dividers, like work time, study time, among others.

In addition to the international contributions, studies on access to the media stand out. However, there is still a lack of indicators on the representations and literacies of young people in relation to technologies, which allow us to look at the current social moment.

Using a systematic review of the literature, this paper presents a critical review of the relevant contributions between 2007 e 2018 on prevailing modes of social use of time by youngsters in formal educational contexts, considering studies on the use of screen devices. Thus, it is central to reflect on the connection between the use of screen devices and the social use of the time nowadays, paired to the impacts caused by the continuous and excessive use of hyperconnection technologies in reference to the new social practices in everyday life.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Socioeconomic Status: Social standing or class of an individual or group. In the chapter, it’s used to describe the combination relating to education of family activities and life satisfaction.

Screen Time: Time allocated for the use of screen devices, usually attributed to the period of use of technology such as television, smartphone, or any screen device that allows man-machine interaction.

Daily Budget: A log or diary of the sequence and duration of activities engaged in by an individual over a specified period of time.

Technical Acceleration: A term used to describe the speeding up of society in a self-propelling process, through of dimensions of social acceleration, regarding mechanical and manufacturing processes in the modern times.

ITime: A time that is attributed by the needs and desires of living the instantaneous present.

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