Superkitties: TV Review
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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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A smart, urgently needed book that helps parents and their kids navigate today’s online landscape—from the founder and CEO of the nation’s leading authority on kids and the media.
Now, more than ever, parents need help in navigating their kids’ online, media-saturated lives. Jim Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, the nation’s leading kidsand- media organization, and the father of four children, knows that many parents and teachers—unlike their technology-savvy kids—may be tourists in the online world.
In this essential book, Steyer—a frequent commentator on national TV and radio— offers an engaging blend of straightforward advice and anecdotes that address what he calls RAP, the major pitfalls relating to kids’ use of media and technology: relationship issues, attention/addiction problems, and the lack of privacy. Instead of shielding children completely from online images and messages, Steyer’s practical approach gives parents essential tools to help filter content, preserve good relationships with their children, and make common sense, value-driven judgments for kids of all ages.
Not just about Facebook, this comprehensive, no-nonsense guide to the online world, media, and mobile devices belongs in the hands of all parents and educators raising kids in today’s digital age.

Now, more than ever, parents need help in navigating their kids’ online, media-saturated lives. Jim Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, the nation’s leading kidsand- media organization, and the father of four children, knows that many parents and teachers—unlike their technology-savvy kids—may be tourists in the online world.

In this essential book, Steyer—a frequent commentator on national TV and radio— offers an engaging blend of straightforward advice and anecdotes that address what he calls RAP, the major pitfalls relating to kids’ use of media and technology: relationship issues, attention/addiction problems, and the lack of privacy. Instead of shielding children completely from online images and messages, Steyer’s practical approach gives parents essential tools to help filter content, preserve good relationships with their children, and make common sense, value-driven judgments for kids of all ages.

Not just about Facebook, this comprehensive, no-nonsense guide to the online world, media, and mobile devices belongs in the hands of all parents and educators raising kids in today’s digital age.

Special offers and product promotions

  • 90 days FREE of Amazon Music Unlimited. Included with purchase of an eligible product. You will receive an email with signup instructions. Renews automatically. New subscribers only. Terms apply. Offered by Amazon.com. Here’s how (restrictions apply)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“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

“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.

Product details

  • Publisher : Scribner; Original edition (May 8, 2012)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 145165734X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1451657340
  • Item Weight : 8.8 ounces
  • Dimensions : 6 x 0.56 x 9 inches
  • Best Sellers Rank: #2,056,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
    • #3,616 in Internet & Telecommunications
    • #7,711 in Communication & Media Studies
    • #9,511 in Internet & Social Media
  • Customer Reviews:

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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5

34 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 14, 2012

Attention Parents, Teachers, and School Administrators! I have never written a recommendation before, but I have come across a book of such exceptional relevance, practical advice, and readability, I am taking this opportunity to do so now. The book is Talking Back to Facebook – The Common Sense Guide to Raising Kids in the Digital Age, by James Steyer.
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.

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.

15 people found this helpful

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on July 11, 2012

…it’s a good read. it will help you pull them out of the techno-muck. found it very helpful to read about some of the physiological effects of media on kids and felt this helped me to strengthen my resolve to sort out computer use with my 12-yr-old son. only took exception with one term that james steyer uses on page 39: “Growing scientific research also underscores the critical importance of “media time-outs” in our lives…” mr. (dr.?) steyer, our kids already take media time-outs. they have been hearing this term, “time-out,” since they were tots — it implies a respite or short break. most kids do take breaks…and then they try to spend the rest of the day (ie, far more time than is prudent) glued to the machine(s). what we need (and clearly, you know and agree with this) is the majority of time spent off the computer, and something more to a “time-in” on the computer. anyway, just a nit compared to the overall value of the book. the section which gave specific guidelines for acceptable amounts of screen time was invaluable. once i read that chapter, this hour-upon-hour thing was all over for my son. read this during the summer, which is the most difficult time to manage computer usage (as there is so much free time) and we have not budged from a strict 2-hour limit. the outcome is interesting: think the kids themselves are happier in the end when they are given more restriction (even though at first they will tell you that they are not). super book — gave to one of my girlfriends for her bday, and have ordered several more copies to pass on. think most parents are scared to death about the issues discussed in this book, and it’s a really good starting point for reeling things back in…

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 12, 2013

This book supplied both well documented facts on the impact of prolonged digital exposure to children and adults. I found his his examples on how to balance the use of digital media for maxim benefit especially useful.This book is a tool that can be used by parents so they can make informed decisions for the good of their children. Digital media is neither all good or all bad. I wish I had read this book while I was still in the elementary classroom. I have already given a book to parents of young children.

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on February 26, 2014

This book was selected in a Parent Book Club (children in grades k – 8). Our goals are to strive
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!

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!

One person found this helpful

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on February 11, 2021

Excellent command of an important subject.

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 11, 2012

With Jim Steyer’s intimate knowledge of the industry, education background and parenting insight, you get to see the impact social media is having on our kids. He shows strength in conviction and offers parents ideas and solutions to managing not only social media, but all forms of technology in the home. It is a great read for parents of children of all ages, even offering ideas for specific age groups.

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 6, 2012

This book is a well thought out look at issues surrounding parenting in a digital age. I am currently leading a book study with it at my church. I appreciate the balanced approaches, non technical writing and helpful “teacher’s guide” questions it contains.

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 10, 2012

I was lucky enough to get a hold of a copy at a local library. It was an easy read ….done in 2 days. As soon as I finished, I went on Amazon and bought 5 copies for parents with children that I know. Kudos to J. Steyer. This is a subject that is pertinent and poignant in teaching our kids cyber citizenship.

Top reviews from other countries

luciluno2

Would recommend.

Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on July 1, 2016

If you’re a concerned parent in the digital age, this is the book for you. Offers lots of interesting facts that gets you thinking about how to use social media in a productive way but not at the detriment of your child’s development. Provides a rough blueprint that you can follow too. Would recommend.

One person found this helpful

B. Peterson

Great Book.

Reviewed in Germany 🇩🇪 on April 12, 2013

Thanks for the quick delivery. A very neccessary Book to read in these Times we live in.
Thanks so much.

Thanks so much.

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