iRules: What Every Tech-Healthy Family Needs to Know about Selfies, Sexting, Gaming, and Growing Up by Janell Hofmann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I'm a big skeptic of books about technology and social media that work from any vantage point that implies they are irrelevant, detrimental, or outright harmful. That is, many works are written from a fear-based approach that denies youth's agency and often overplays supposed innocence. Hofmann doesn't do this and that is refreshing. Her guide addresses a variety of concerns around how to raise healthy children with regards to technology but the center of approach is dialogue, choice, and responsibility. It's clear she advocates (and does so in her own family) for a clear structure and coming together about how technology is best used. Equally important, she calls out much of the BS that other guides or parents seem to forget. She's truthful and at times, says things like if cellphones were available when she was a teenager, she too would succumb to the selfie crazy. That is, it is not a representation of the downfall of society but just a byproduct of teenage life. Her genuiness makes her book much stronger than many of the other preachy tomes out there. If you're working with youth or are a parent (or will be a parent), this is the book to get to help you and your family navigate tricky waters.
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