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Zooming in on ‘screentime’ (this time with more precision)

Don’t believe everything you read about “screentime.” It’s rarely helpful – especially if presented as an undifferentiated mass of digital activity that just needs to be limited. That blunt-instrument approach is not helpful to parents. This very visual commentary from graphic designer and blogger Heather Hopp-Bruce in the Boston Globe is a refreshing departure from […]

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Protecting student privacy calls for student participation

This era of big data and big exposure – of all aspects of life to peers, the public and even perpetrators – calls for big participation. Because every day people are exposing, sharing, uploading, creating and inputting things about themselves and others, whether in social situations or part of their jobs, as friends, relatives, students […]

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Does digital downtime fix FOMO?

Maureen O’Connor at New York Magazine calls it “the Band-Aid of Ludditism.” Not that anybody who takes days off from digital media is a Luddite. Certainly not. It’s just that band-aids don’t fix problems; they make them less visible (yes, and help keep things clean, but stay with me for a minute, here). “We have […]

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Spoiler alert: Kid loves teaching Twitter to Dad

I never do movie reviews. But Chef is totally on-topic for NetFamilyNews, and not because some families have foodies in them. It’s because there’s a scene that illustrates better than anything I’ve seen on film how sweetly and respectfully social media can be folded into parenting. Sure, as in this scene, it can be a […]

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UN bringing child rights into the digital age

By Larry Magid In 1989 the United Nations passed an important human rights treaty. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was ratified by all countries in the world except Somalia, Southern Sudan and — believe it or not — the United States.* Rights and protections And even though this document was written before kids started […]

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More clarity on teens’ ‘Am I pretty?’ videos

The thoughtful New York Times story begins with a 13-year-old New Jersey girl posting her “Am I pretty?” video on YouTube. I won’t steal its thunder, so I hope you’ll read it. But I do want to highlight the points most helpful to parents of young teen girls: Ages 13-15: “Nearly all the people in […]

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A bit of videogaming is good for kids: Study

What?! A little videogame play a day is actually good for children? That’s what an Oxford University researcher found in a study of 5,000 UK 10-to-15-year-olds that looked into both the positive and negative impacts of videogaming. “Young people who spent less than an hour a day engaged in video games were better adjusted than […]

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‘Revenge porn': Exposing cruel disclosure

This is a sidebar to my earlier post about social norms as one of the solutions to social cruelty online, zooming in on one form of it. “Revenge porn” needs to be understood and exposed for what it is so it can be neutralized. Its power to harm will lessen as we stigmatize the shaming […]

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Zooming in on social norms (sidebar)

This is a sidebar to my earlier post about social norms as one of the solutions to social cruelty online. Social norms are practically super powers. As I mentioned in my main post, this doesn’t occur to us much because, well, these are norms, after all – part of the wallpaper, socially speaking. They’re everyday […]

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Beginning of the end of #purge, revenge porn or social cruelty?

We so want to believe it: that the fact that Twitter and Instagram are actively taking down #purge-related accounts signals “the tipping point of this particular phenomenon – and its end has begun,” as professor, author and cyberbullying expert Sameer Hinduja writes in an informative blog post. It’s very possible we’re seeing the tipping point […]

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