New media studies are now benefiting from a burgeoning of empirical studies and theoretical analyses from diverse academic disciplines seeking to locate new media, especially the Internet, within long-standing traditions of social science research. By reviewing and reflecting upon findings from ‘UK Children Go Online’, a multi-method research project examining the role of the Internet in children and young people’s everyday lives, the present article takes the opportunity to draw out some general conclusions, and associated puzzles, to guide future research. These contribute towards an emerging framework for understanding questions regarding new media access, use and consequences within the social, cultural and political parameters of young people’s lives. A range of research findings are discussed that illuminate the shifting balance of opportunities and risks posed by the Internet for children, youth and the family.
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