“Ban Russian Bots.” The words shone brightly projected across Twitter headquarters. Not long after, a listener of NPR’s 1a wrote: “Wish there was a national movement, like a Quit Facebook day. If they lost a million plus U.S. users in 1 day, it would give reformers inside the company the momentum they need.” Then came the medical community. At a research summit on how technology affects kids, a health policy expert issued a call to action: “Urge companies to first Do No Harm.”
It’s happening. People are finally realizing technology doesn’t always operate in our best interests and they’re doing something about it.
“Facebook builds in operant conditioning and wants you to use it ten hours a day,” declared Dr. Dimitri Christakis, Director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Also speaking at the research summit, the policy expert, Georgetown University’s Kathryn Montgomery, took it a step further: “Woven into the business model is not just engagement, but engagement for the purposes of advertising and data collection. They need to put a limit on the information that can be collected and the way information can be used to target individuals.”
Even Tony Fadell, who created the iPod and oversaw rollout of the iPhone, called out personal technology Continue reading
If you live in the U.S. or some other country with strong rules for clean air and water, the most polluted places in the world seem far away. It’s likely your neighbors don’t have radiation poisoning or barrels of pesticide festering in the backyard.
But those in low- and middle-income countries are not so fortunate. They bear the brunt of almost all the cancers, disease and other afflictions caused by pollution. Children are especially vulnerable.
Fortunately, the Global Alliance for Health and Pollution connects needy nations with sources who can help. “GAHP exists so countries don’t have to deal with pollution on their own,” according to Richard Fuller, president of Blacksmith Institute for a Pure Earth, one of the NGO’s partners. “There are terrific results where countries have done the right things,” adds Stephan Robinson of Green Cross Switzerland.
Here are some success stories from a new report, The Top Ten Countries Turning the Corner on Toxic Pollution: Continue reading
So your child has been clamoring for months, if not years, and you’re still not sure it’s the right time for that first phone. You are wise to think it over carefully because giving a smartphone has more strings attached than the most sought-after pair of sneakers.
For some kids, a phone is a necessity from an early age so they can keep in touch when transferring between caregivers. But if your child is always under the watchful eye of an adult (at home, on the bus, or in school), having a phone may be more of a want than a need.
To determine if you and your child are ready for this life-changing milestone, ask yourself these questions: Continue reading
A clever new video is speaking kids’ language about how to walk safely to school, in the neighborhood or on city streets. The stars are cartoon characters just snarky enough for real kids to relate to.
Safe Routes to School posted the 5-minute animation just in time for International Walk to School Day, this year on October 8.
Way back when you might have walked or bike to school. But do you know today’s rules of the road?
Walk with or against car traffic?
How old is old enough for a kid to walk to school alone?
Those answers and more are here in English or Spanish:
Walking and biking is a fun and easy way for kids to be outdoors, get exercise and learn durable skills they can’t in the classroom, like how to navigate without a GPS.
Even if your school doesn’t have Walk to School Day, you can always help them out and plan it yourself.
Want inspiration for parenting active, creative kids? Read The Durable Human Manifesto (it only takes 10 minutes, plus it’s mostly pictures!)
Learn more about the author on Google+.