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Computers and the Internet

This entry examines the implications of computers and the Internet for youth development. The term computers is used broadly to include a range of interactive digital technologies, such as desktops, laptops, and tablet computers, as well as computer games and smartphones. Similarly, the term Internet is used to refer to a range of online environments, including the World Wide Web, messaging applications such as Google’s Hangouts, WhatsApp, and text messaging, and social media applications such as Facebook and Instagram.

The entry begins by describing the prevalence of computers and the Internet and notes that they should be considered a developmental context given their central presence in young people’s lives. Then it examines the developmental implications of computer and Internet use during infancy and childhood as ...

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