Talking Back to Facebook

Monday, August 06, 2012

James Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, offers advice on how to address some of the pitfalls of kids’ use of media and technology: relationship issues, attention/addiction problems, and the lack of privacy. His book Talking Back to Facebook is a guide to raising kids in the digital age that gives parents essential tools to help filter content and make good judgments.


James Steyer

Comments [12]

jon from qns

i think it's important to have an awareness of your media habits and how you do or don't interact with others, but no segment on any NPR radio program i've ever heard before has better encapsulated the laughable school marm tone that this did. in fact, there was one point when a LITERAL SCHOOL MARM called in to the show to have her kid listen to someone who must know, because he's on the radio and thus famous, that Call of Duty (or COD, as he literally pronounced it once for no reason, and I have never ever heard anyone say that before) COD will rot your brain. thanks for that, it was a blast.

Aug. 06 2012 12:46 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Send this old codger to the old age home to knit! Call of Duty is a GREAT military 'shooter" and there is nothing wrong in playing it, or most other so-called "violent" videogames. Kids are not stupid. They know they are playing a game and they are immersed in it, as am I, a 66 year old gamer and former teacher, technical writer and businessman.

Nothing wrong with videogames AFTER THE HOMEWORK IS FINISHED!!!

Aug. 06 2012 12:42 PM
Cynthia from West New York

While I fully accept that electronic and social media has its downside, we are using it right now to communicate with my sister-in-law as my brother is dying at home under hospice care. There is no way she could cope with phone calls, but it comforts both us and her to send text messages of love and warm thoughts. I am happy to have this tool at this moment in time as it is helping all of us.

Aug. 06 2012 12:42 PM
John A

It's hard for me to see a person who talks this fast as someone who is Not a scatterbrain. The DeMaturation of America continues?

Aug. 06 2012 12:41 PM

The world is changing, quit whining and get used to it. If you can't balance your kid's digital time without advice from a book you probably shouldn't have had kids... Let them sit in front of the screen all day? No. Set arbitrary "no technology" rules? No. Teach moderation and responsible personal judgment through lessons that can't be found in a book? Yes.

... Or keep writing books like this, the disconnect between these books and the reality of the digital age is extremely interesting from a sociological standpoint.

Aug. 06 2012 12:39 PM
Penny from Downtown

I choose to do without mobil devices and I joke with young people that I will always get more done than they will since I have both hands free.

Aug. 06 2012 12:36 PM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn

This is an incredibly important conversation to have, and should also become curriculum in junior high schools; kids today need to be taught the pros and cons of their various electronic media, as well as discuss proper social media etiquette.

I often feel really, really lucky that I came of age before cell phones and the Internet became part of regular life. It does make a huge difference, in terms of when I choose to use the beneficial parts of social media, and when I avoid it, and make sure I live my life in person, at my fullest level of focus.

I wish today's young people could be assigned the task of "opting out" for a week or month, and see how enjoyable real life, in real time, with actual people, places, and things can be. No virtual world, or virtual friends ever feels as good as what exists in the natural world. And young people need to learn how to communicate via other means besides texting and writing. They are totally missing out on learning how to pick up on social cues, body language, and to speak in public, and these skills are imminently important as people enter the workforce and navigate their adult lives.

Aug. 06 2012 12:36 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Face to face "human communications" is a thing of the past, and good riddance. Like all other mammals, particularly primates, we judge each other on how we look. This is because we are primarily sexual animals. But we may also judge each other's internal or intellectual or emotional world by what we say. And it all depends, in the end on honesty. But most people learn that being political, and even dishonest, is more advantageous to being straightforward and honest. Most people do not want to be totally honest, because honesty is a weakness that can give others power over us. So most people are guarded or political in what they say, and how they say it.

Aug. 06 2012 12:35 PM
Andy from nyc

Facebook is the worste and most invasive program ever.

It makes the KGB and the Gistapo kids of the 1930's look like amatures.

You have to be the biggest fool to register on it never mind using it.

Aug. 06 2012 12:27 PM
Guy from Brooklyn

Parents are culpable for their childrens' internet addicted behavior? Perish the thought!

Look out your window anytime in Park Slope or anywhere and you can watch parents pushing their strollers on the phone, oblivious of their children (and often dogs), and you can see the next evolutionary step down.

Aug. 06 2012 12:23 PM
John A.

He's getting to the point of identifying a problem with impulse control. Get there.

Aug. 06 2012 12:18 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Videogames are the future. Books are 19th century artifacts; movies 20th century. But the virtual reality of videogames will define the 21st.

Aug. 06 2012 12:10 PM

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