Special guest: Diana Graber. Snapchat, Instagram, Fortnite, cyberbullying, sexting, and technology addiction are some of the digital concerns that keep today’s parents up at night. Some of the statistics being quoted are scary: Common Sense Media reported that 50 percent of teens feel “addicted” to their phones. The Pew Research Center reported just last year that 59 percent of U.S teens have been bullied or harassed online. Guard Child reported that 39 percent of teens have sent or posted sexually suggestive messages (sexting). Stanford University researchers tell us that a whopping 80 percent of students can’t differentiate between real and “fake” news. And the World Health Organization told us in 2017 that Technology is making children dangerously unhealthy. YIKES. These are not small-scale studies with questionable results. My next guest has been unpacking this research and working to understand how digital innovations have radically altered childhood and left us largely unprepared as parents for how to deal with the influx of technology and the fallout from these devices. She is also capturing the upside of these digital innovations that, yes, if used correctly, can enrich our children’s lives—and regardless, this IS the world we live in- we can not shut our eyes turn off all screens and say “that’s it!” without shutting out the digital world in which we must learn to survive and thrive. So what can we do?
Diana Graber, a digital literacy educator and advocate, was honored with the National Association for Media Literacy Education’s 2017 Media Literacy Teacher Award. She is the cofounder of Cyberwise, a leading online safety and digital literacy organization, and the founder and creator of Cyber Civics, the popular and innovative middle school digital citizenship and literacy program currently being taught in more than 40 US states, the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Africa. Graber lives with her family in Southern California. Diana is also the author of Raising Humans in a Digital World, published in January of this year.