The Parent App: Understanding Families in the Digital Age

By Lynn Schofield Clark | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
How Parents Are Mediating the
Media in Middle-Class and Less
Advantaged Homes

AT ELEVEN YEARS OLD, Danielle Oliver was a campaigner. Danielle often disagreed with her single mother, attempting to convince her mother to see things as she did. One of the things they disagreed about was that Danielle believed that she needed a mobile phone; her mother, Nancy, was firmly opposed to this idea. But Danielle insisted anyway, using the occasion of an interview about their household’s media use to argue that she needed a mobile in order to keep in touch with her mother at all times—for instance, when her mother was at the grocery store. Nancy countered that, given her demanding schedule of work, household maintenance, and transporting two children to and from school, she actually enjoyed the fact that she could be unreachable for a while, leaving Danielle at home with her younger sibling, Adam, for an hour while she completed the grocery shopping. “If you can’t get a hold of me, you can’t get a hold of me,” Nancy said with a shrug. Not to be deterred, Danielle whipped up what she hoped would be a frightening scenario in order to change her mother’s mind:

DANIELLE: But what if I saw a car in front of our house and the door
was wide open and these guys were carrying stuff out of our house
and I needed to contact you, and I didn’t have time to run over to
Kelsey’s?

NANCY: Well, Danielle, a cell phone’s not going to fix that, I don’t
think—

DANIELLE (INTERRUPTING): It is, though, Mom! It is!1

Unfortunately for Danielle, her mother remained firm in her resolve, and Danielle did not get her own mobile phone for several more years, when she was able to buy one for herself.

-151-

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