Panicked about Kids’ Addiction to Tech?


Here are two things you could do

Flickr: Jan Hoffman

Ever since key Apple investors challenged the company to address kids’ phone addiction, I’ve gotten a stream of calls asking me to comment on the topic. Mostly, I want to scream. I wrote extensively about the unhelpful narrative of “addiction” in my book It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. At the time, the primary concern was social media. Today, it’s the phone, but the same story still stands: young people are using technology to communicate with their friends non-stop at a point in their life when everything is about sociality and understanding your place in the social world.

As much as I want to yell at all of the parents around me to chill out, I’m painfully and acutely aware of how ineffective this is. Parents don’t like to see that they’re part of the problem or that their efforts to protect and help their children might backfire. (If you want to experience my frustration in full color, watch the Black Mirror episode called “Arkangel” (trailer here).)

Read More

It’s Time To Ask Ourselves How Tech Is Changing Our Kids — And Our Future


Shift Reads

If you work in social media (or you’re a parent), you must read American Girls.

Nancy Jo Sales, author of American Girls.

Earlier this summer I wrote a piece positing social media as the new tobacco industry. My conclusions were based on two observations: First, the habits of my own three teenaged children, and second, the research behind a milestone study, the publication of which caused quite a stir.

But until recently I had missed the most substantial proof of my thesis — the February publication of Nancy Jo Sales’ American Girls, an incendiary must read for anyone with young children, but also for anyone with an interest in the impact our largest and most successful companies — Google, Snapchat, and Facebook in particular — are having on our society.

Read More

Women Entrepreneurs Are Not Victims of Our Choices


A rebuttal to Gimlet’s Startup podcast on running both a family and a business

I’m a huge fan of Gimlet and love their new Brooklyn-based podcast Startup.

Yet, as a female tech entrepreneur (I’m the founder and CEO of Stride, a tech startup that’s self funded that my team and I have grown to 60 people in 3 years while I’ve battled cancer and raised 2 kids), a mother, and a New Yorker, I take serious issue with Season 5, Episode 4 — Running a Family and a Business.

Read More