Today’s team review is from Chris, she blogs here http://cphilippou123.wordpress.com
Chris has been reading Techno Tantrums: 10 Strategies For Coping With Your Child’s Tome Online by David Boyle
An interesting concept – too much time being spent online by children and how to manage that – is tackled in this attempt at a practical how-to.
There were some very useful and practical points about managing children’s time online. There were also some interesting references to various stories that have been in the press. And the bottom line – that children may be spending too much time online in the modern era – is not one that I necessarily disagree with.
However, my concerns are that this book holds itself up as a non-fiction book, yet it suffers from a one-sided look at the problem. This, ironically, is one of the things that people that spend a lot of time online appear to develop an understanding of – that huge swathes of information available online need to be filtered for, amongst other things, bias. This book uses a few sources repeatedly with no consideration of alternative viewpoints and no critical thinking. It made me want to spend more time online researching the points made in this book because the more I read, the less I bought into the authors’ polemic.
Overall, this was one of those books where the idea is interesting, and the author(s) well-meaning, but where the lack of thorough research combined with a lack of discussion of the limitations of their points brought the value of the book down. A shame.
*Thank you to the authors for my free review copy via RBRT.
This book argues that parents have been abandoned to deal with the lure of the online world alone, the games and social media, with advice about safety but no other support. This is a guide to help navigate the research and pitfalls, written by parents for parents.
They face the sheer power of the internet companies all by themselves, fighting for influence over their children’s minds. When schools and governments alike encourage children to spend their lives online, yet many of the internet founders themselves – including Steve Jobs himself – rigorously restricted their own children’s online access time.
This isn’t a guide to online safety, which is well-covered elsewhere. It is a guide to online obsession. It helps navigate research, some of it alarming, some of it reassuring, with clarity and sanity, to help parents find a way through – so that children can avoid addiction, enjoy the world around them, but also enjoy themselves online.
About the author
David Boyle is the author of Blondel’s Song: The capture, imprisonment and ransom of Richard the Lionheart, and a series of books about history, social change and the future. His book Authenticity: Brands, Fakes, Spin and the Lust for Real Life helped put the search for authenticity on the agenda as a social phenomenon. The Tyranny of Numbers and The Sum of Our Discontent predicted the backlash against the government’s target culture. Funny Money launched the time banks movement in the UK.
David is an associate of the new economics foundation, the pioneering think-tank in London, and has been at the heart of the effort to introduce time banks to Britain as a critical element of public service reform – since when the movement has grown to more than 100 projects in the UK.
He is also the founder of the London Time Bank network and co-founder of Time Banks UK. He writes about the future of volunteering, cities and business.
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