It is a great pleasure to present this edition of the Children’s Research Digest on the theme of our 2018 conference ‘Growing up in the Digital Environment’. Digital technology is increasingly a normal part of Irish children’s lives and the consequences for their safety and well-being is often a topic of public concern. In a single week at the end of 2019, newspaper headlines reported that “One in four children 'have problematic smartphone use'” (The Guardian, 29th November 2019) “Social media is fuelling eating disorders among children as young as TWELVE (The Daily Mail, 4th December 2019), and even, "Selfies and smartphones blamed for rise in head lice among schoolchildren" (The Irish Times, 26th November 2019). Should we be concerned or is there an element of moral panic at play? This timely edition of the Children’s Research Digest raises the question: what it is like to grow up in a society where everyday life is shaped by digital technology?
A sincere thank you to all the authors who shared their research, our wonderful guest editors, Cliona Curley and Ruth Geraghty, for their considered editorial, and our reviewing panel, Dr Tracey Monson, Elli Wilson and Dr Lorraine Swords, for their patience and thoroughness. We are also ever grateful to the Children’s Research Network Advisory Committee, and the Trinity Research in Childhood Centre for their ongoing support.