Raising a Child in the Era of Smartphones

Exploring the implications of parent smartphone use for the parent-child relationship


  • Rhea Savannah Murti McMaster University




In light of an increasing technological dependence for millenials, and the fact that members of this generation are starting to become parents, this paper examines a crucial area of technology use: how smartphone use impacts a parent's relationship with their child. Rather than looking at the issue of technology and parenting in the purely psychological context of affects on a child's brain development, as is most often the case, this paper takes a sociological perspective to focus on the bond between parent and child. This issue is only very recently starting to become of interest to researchers, so this paper consolidates existing work in the field to bring attention to the ways in which a parent's dependence on, and distraction with, their smartphone, is changing how they interact with their child. For future and current parents to learn to juggle technology use and sustainable practices of caring for their child, it is important that they are cognizant of the patterns of disengagement and dissatisfaction that are produced by the common habits of smartphone use.