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Talking Back to Facebook: The Common Sense Guide to Raising Kids in the Digital Age Paperback – May 8, 2012
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"Jim's book could not be more timely."--Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City
“Steyer has penned a vital wake-up call for parents and government. He is a champion of both kids and the digital revolution. But he's neither giddy nor an apologist. He recognizes that companies like Facebook and Google and video game makers sway our kids, how they think and read and study and behave. If you're a parent and want some shrewd tips on parenting in this digital age and how to protect your children, read this book.”--Ken Auletta, author of Googled: The End of the World as We Know It
“In this courageous book, Jim Steyer pulls no punches. Whether or not you agree with his critique of Facebook and its Silicon Valley siblings, you must grapple with the deep issues that he raises.”--Howard Gardner, Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
“Jim Steyer is a relentless advocate for kids. Focusing on how the media intersects with their lives, Jim boldly takes on the issues, exploring the good, the bad, and the ugly alike—always the first to begin the conversation. I urge every parent to read this book, so that we can be prepared to navigate how new forms of media and communication are transforming children’s lives.”—Cyma Zarghami, President, Nickelodeon Group
"Smart, savvy, sophisticated, down-to-earth. A book that parents and children can read together. A conversation-starter for families."--Sherry Turkle, author of Alone Together
“For two decades Jim Steyer has been among the most prescient commentators about media and our children's lives, providing essential advice to parents about how to navigate these treacherous digital interactions. If Jim's approach has a fault it is tremendous faith in information to empower parents. What a wonderful faith to have.”--Ezekiel J. Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D.
“Steyer’s ‘common sense’ medicine for parents, educators, and others will promote better information, better decisions, and ultimately, better health --for our kids, families and communities.” --A. Eugene Washington, M.D., M.Sc., Vice Chancellor, UCLA Health Sciences, and Dean, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
"Jim Steyer is the Paul Revere of the pixel universe, warning parents of the perils of social media. Whether they're adding friends on Facebook or meeting friends at the park, kids need to be kept safe from danger. Steyer's book is an indispensable safety tool for parents everywhere."--Congressman Ed Markey, U.S. House of Representatives
“James Steyer has provided a road map to transform the seductive online world into a healthy environment for families.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“A wake-up call…. To get the most benefit out of the Web’s vast offerings, we need to more closely examine how we, or how our kids, are spending time online. It’s a hard thesis to contradict.”--Washington Post
About the Author
James P. Steyer has spent more than twenty years as one of the most respected experts and entrepreneurs on issues related to children's policy and media in the United States. As founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, he is responsible for the overall leadership of the nation's leading nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving the media lives of kids and families. Steyer began his career as an elementary school teacher and went on to become a nationally respected child advocate, public interest lawyer, and Stanford professor. Jim lives with his wife and four children in the Bay Area.
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The author is a professor at Stanford where he teaches civil rights, civil liberties, and children's issues. He is CEO of Common Sense Media. He has strong credentials, but his highest is the fact that he has four kids...all digital natives.
The book is a MUST read if you are a parent, but it also offers outstanding guideposts and advice for questions most parents are -or should be - asking. He tackles hard issues straight-on and avoids being patronizing or unrealistic about the range of choices and decisions both children and parents must make in today's technology-driven social and educational environments. I found different sections of this book appealed to me as an educator, father, and grandparent of a 4 year old with another due in the Fall.
To give you a flavor of his thesis: he addresses digital media issues based on the acronym RAP - Relationships, Attention/Addiction, and Privacy. His rule of thumb for living in the Digital Age (where data never dies)- which I've already quoted to my teachers, some parents, and my Sunday school class - is that children/students/teens must learn (be taught) to SELF-REFLECT before they SELF-REVEAL.
In his classes at Stanford he has observed that today's students are less able to concentrate, write well, think coherently, or synthesize information than students of a few years ago. Also, his students appear to have shorter attention spans, and diminished memory capacity. Yes, he blames over-use and over-reliance on technology. And yes, it can be fixed.
From cyber-bullying to privacy issues raised when parents post pictures of their newborns, he offers some of the clearest points and most useable advice I've encountered in all my reading on the clutter of technology-based issues in our social, educational, personal environments.
Trust me: this is one book you really should read this summer. It is not a rambling theoretical, esoteric, impractical academic pontification from Olympus. It's an enjoyable read...AND:
It may help you with issues involving your own kids.
It may help you address issues on your campus.
I can almost guarantee you will find yourself using and passing some of his advice on to others before you even finish the book.
to be ahead of what may be coming our kids way. Talking Back to Facebook was not only an
eye opener, as I have a FB account that is minimally used, but offered an array of useful
information that I will be referencing for a very long time.
Thank You - James Steyer for addressing the issues we are and will be facing as concerned parents!