If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that parents and caregivers are superheroes. From juggling jobs and childcare to managing distance learning and monitoring screen time, they are doing it all. These “parent superheroes” are now sending their children back to school, many in a virtual setting, while continuing to grapple with all they’re being asked to manage. This is one reason AT&T is teaming up with some of DC’s most iconic Super Heroes such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Cyborg in a new educational spot to remind “parent superheroes” everywhere to set parental controls on the connected devices in their household, and visit ScreenReady.com for help. 

ScreenReady, a free community resource from AT&T, provides parental controls guides and digital parenting resources for parents and caregivers to create the online and entertainment experience that is right for their family. This is part of AT&T’s commitment to digital safety and wellbeing, and one way we are working to help today’s connected families get “Screen Ready”.

The new educational spot is launching alongside AT&T’s 2nd annual poll, which benchmarks the changes in teens’ tech use and examines parental perceptions of teens’ online experiences. Conducted by Quadrant Strategies, this nationwide poll of teens and parents1 also reveals new insights on how parents are monitoring teens’ devices during the COVID-19 pandemic and how teens feel their online experiences affect their wellbeing.

One key finding in this year’s poll is the widening disconnect between what parents think their teens feel and experience online and what teens actually feel and experience. Compared to our 2019 poll, parents report greater confidence that they can see their teens’ online activities, while teens report getting more adept at hiding what they’re doing.


While school closures and increased telecommuting put many teens and parents in closer proximity to one another, teens still report hiding risky online behaviors, leaving parents out of the loop. And, this comes at a time when teens are spending more time online, and parents are increasingly worried about screen time and online safety.

But there is a silver lining for today’s digital parents: parental controls. The poll reveals that parents overwhelmingly (89%) believe parental controls are an effective tool to manage teens’ digital safety and experience. And, teens with parental controls set on their devices tend to be happier and say that their devices make them feel safer, more productive, and able to pursue their passions at higher rates than those without parental controls.

Inspired by these insights, AT&T is doubling down on our focus to help empower today’s connected families. In addition to the new educational spot encouraging the use of parental controls, we’ll continue to add additional tools and resources to ScreenReady.com to help parents manage their families online experience, stay informed of digital hazards and practice healthy digital habits.

But most of all, the survey findings remind us of the incredible “parent superheroes” everywhere, who continue to do it all for their kids – online and in real life. 

1 This poll was developed and conducted by the research firm Quadrant Strategies and was conducted online from July 7-19, 2020. The poll surveyed 500 teens (aged 13-18), 500 parents of kids (parents aged 25-37 of children age under 12) and 500 parents of teens (parents aged 30+ of teens age 13-18,) living in the United States. The survey’s margin of error is plus or minus 4.28% percentage points for each of these audiences.