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Talking Back to Facebook: The Common Sense Guide to Raising Kids in the Digital Age

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  187 ratings  ·  39 reviews
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,
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Scribner
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Average rating 3.58  · 
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The book intends to help parents to guide their children through online world and social media. The first part is descriptive and too theoretical, the practical part is not practical enough.

It doesn’t give any new information, and though the author mentions the positive aspects of the online world, the focus is on the negatives.

2 stars
Jun 19, 2018 rated it liked it
I am a bookish Millennial looking for tips as I act more of an aunt than a parent. And wow, this book made me nostalgic than anything. Let me explain why I read this.

I was a teenager when the kids began to come, myself only being a kid and exploring the newly opened Facebook. I grew up with the internet, suffering that classic screeching of the internet connecting. I would fight with my brother to get off the computer so I could have a turn with that painful Harry Potter series, before giving up
Jun 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: technology, education
My staff summer reading choice. I am a big fan of Commonsense Media and use their digital citizenship curriculum with my 2-6th graders.
Being familiar with their philosophy, this book held no new information, only solid, helpful reminders. I love that they don't demonized the Internet. I also appreciate their model of steering kids away from advertising. I think the most useful part of the book is the discussion on privacy, and what that has come to mean, as well as what infringements we allow,
Jan 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Author Jim Steyer is CEO and Founder of Common Sense Media. Saw him speak at my school (middle school, high school, and staff/parent luncheon). He had good, honest conversations with our students. This book is definitely directed towards parents and not necessarily educators, but has great practical tips.
Nov 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: teaching
James Steyer, acclaimed founder of Common Sense Media, has written often in articles and websites on the affect that social networks are having on our children. In his latest book, "Talking Back to Facebook" (Scribner 2012), Steyer discusses worries on every parent's mind about the social media engulfing our children.

With so much of education and play time revolving around digital devices like iPads, computers, Wii, apps, and more, parents have a right to be concerned and should question whether
Simay Yildiz
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Türkçesi Zimlciious'ta.
Originally published on CommunityBookStop.

I remember when Jurassic Park hit theaters in Turkey, I begged my mom and aunt to take me and my sister to see it. All my friends at school had seen it, which then meant I had to had to! see it as well. After they saw what it was all about, mom and aunt referred the situation to my father. He went and saw it with his friends, then decided to not to take us; his reasoning was that "everyone looked very scared when they were getting
Courtney Huskisson
Jan 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction

“Millions of people...are increasingly connecting to other people only via text messages. This means that they don’t have to look people in the eye or even hear their voices over the telephone. It may seem more efficient, but there also seems to be a connection between the frequent use of technology and the tendency of people to be less intimate and emotional in their human interactions.” (22)

[quoted from Jonathan Franzen]
“Our lives look a lot more interesting when they’re filtered thro
Aug 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
I got through this pretty quickly--it's not a long book and you can skim the first part without missing out on anything. The first part was a little dry--goes into the history of digital media a little & the various challenges, such as diminishing privacy, we have today. Common Sense Media is mentioned frequently (the author is the founder) so there's a drinking game for you. Mostly I left the first part feeling pretty hopeless about my kids' future in this digital world; he tries to point out p ...more
Gloria Denoon
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Steyer has presented a hope for us – somewhat desperate parents struggling in dealing with digital native children in their usage of information technology and communication.

The basic theme of the book is excellent: how to take back control from information technology and highly networked web world so that we can protect our children and their privacy in this increasingly volatile and complicated digital age. The book provides practical safety tips for parents in guiding children of different a
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Is it just me? I'm pretty certain about the limits I want around digital technology and screen time; I'm just looking for strategies to help implement them in the face of overwhelming societal pressure to the contrary. The vast majority of this book seemed geared towards affirming the dangers of too much screen time and recommending limits, and neglected to dive into the sticky subject of: "Ok, but how?"

One thing I'm actually considering, though, is using the book as a jumping-off point with my
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Overall I think this is helpful. He puts in laymans terms all of the things parents need to consider regarding digital natives. I was hoping for something more research heavy. He often refers to research, but this is written for parents and not necessarily for educators. The first half sets up the problem that parents and digital natives face moving forward, but he second half of the book is the most helpful. He breaks down age restrictions for students gives helpful tips for managing digital me ...more
Kathleen Brunnett
Jul 03, 2012 rated it liked it
The author of this book is the founder of Common Sense Media which rates movies, tv, video games, etc for age appropriateness and content. While some of the background information on internet privacy policies (or lack there of) was a bit much to navigate, it was an interesting read just the same. If anything, I was able include new information in a discussion with my son about safe internet use, privacy issues and the like.
May 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is very timely. In fact, it is so timely that it will doubtless be horribly out-of-date in just a few years, referring to games and TV shows and websites that children are no longer interested in. But for today, this is an important book to read for any parent who isn't sure how to handle their children's access to the digital world. Common-sense practical advise is provided, broken down by age. ...more
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonficition
This is an important book for parents and teachers to read. We are living in a digital age where the kids are natives, but not always literate, and the adults are tourists. James Steyer provides helpful and realistic strategies for parents to teach their kids how to have a healthy, balanced relationship with the technology in their lives.
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a quick, very good read that should enlighten parents on the dangers of the online world. A previous reviewer thought that most parents knew this stuff already, but I disagree. I think most folks, myself included, are pretty transparent online. Worse yet, our children may be following in our footsteps. This book will make a parents more proactive with their children's online habits. ...more
Sep 30, 2013 rated it liked it
You will find yourself hating Facebook at some points in this book for how much it has taken over the lives of ourselves and our kids. It does make you think about the Internet in a different, and more cynical and cautious way. At the end of the book there are a lot of good tips, separated by age, on helping your kids get the most out of the Internet without allow it to take over their lives.
Apr 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I suppose this one was preaching to the choir. I worry about the messages we see our children getting every single day with the constant barrage of technology in our lives. I really connected with the author's concern for our children's privacy as they enter their adult lives. Once their images are out there in the "web", there is no undue button. ...more
Kevin Hodgson
Jun 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Steyer is CEO of CommonSense Media, which I like as a resource for teaching and parenting, but which I also filter through a "this is bad" lens on most digital media. Still, it's an important website to bookmark and worth a view. ...more
Alex Pang
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm not entirely sure what to make of this yet. It's good, if somewhat more focused on policy than I think is useful. I keep thinking about how I would write it, which makes it hard to appreciate on its own merits. ...more
Jul 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
I found the first half-mostly about the potential dangers of media-to be awfully redundant. The tips in the second part were practical, but I think you could get the same information from the author's website,, without taking the time to check out the book. ...more
Oct 10, 2012 rated it liked it
As the subtitles suggests, a lot of this book is basic common sense but it is a good reminder that we need to take precautions to protect our kids as they start engaging on the internet. Also provides some basic guidelines for parents which I thought were helpful.
Stacie Lindsey
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was an Education Week suggestion. This has been a big topic of discussion in our neighborhood lately. The latest statistics on texting, facebooking etc. were shocking. The social impact, made me a little nervous.
Matt Heavner
Dec 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Tough issue -- raising kids in the digital age explosion. This book is thought provoking and has good discussion, but there are no easy answers! The second half of the book has age specific ~6 page Q/A and suggestions -- from 2 years old to ~13 in two year increments.
Dec 21, 2013 rated it liked it
About how young people are affected by digital media in terms of their relationships, attention/addiction issues, and privacy issues...quick read and pretty scary. Worth checking out if you can get past the promotion of the author's foundation, repetition, and super serious tone. ...more
Melissa Daley
Sep 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
As someone who already has a good grasp on technology I felt the book didn't offer anything extra to me. Most of the information I felt was common sense. May be beneficial to a parent who has no understanding of technology. ...more
Jun 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Every parent should read this book!
Jun 08, 2012 rated it liked it
I read this book to review it for my company's newsletter and learned a lot about Facebook's disregard for privacy. A very interesting book. ...more
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
A look at how parents should approach Facebook and social media in regards to their children. Another cautionary look at how much private information we are giving away.
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
kinda alarmist but useful for people with kids who aren't sure when to introduce them to what. ...more
Cami Jones
Aug 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Not quite what I expected, but it was good :)
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