We are facing a generation gap wider than arguments over rock 'n' roll, hot pants and long hair. Video games, the Internet, PCs, Twitter, iPads, HDTVs, Facebook, smartphones, 3D movies, apps, et al, could be creating a generation chasm, making it harder for you to relate to and even raise your sons and daughters? Are kids - or you - prepared to deal with the repercussions of this digital onslaught?
Author Scott Steinberg wants to help you digitally overwhelmed moms and dads and grandparents as you struggle with how to parent in an age overflowing with constant connectivity, addictive gadgets and sterile technologies with unseen implications.
"Nearly every aspect of personal and professional life is influenced by technology today," Scott tells me (full disclosure - Scott's a buddy of mine and soon to be an occasional blogger on Life Goes Strong). "From iPads to Web-ready cell phones, we're rushing to put technology in millions of hands without adequate education for life in a connected world."
According to Scott, studies show children aged 2-5 are now more able to play video games or downloaded apps than tie their shoelaces, and more than 75 percent of teenagers own cell phones - none of which is a surprise.
What is a surprise is that 62 percent of kids report suffering a negative experience online, and a quarter of honest adolescents complain their parents know little or nothing about what they're doing on the Internet.
Scott's point: both parents and kids need a little help grappling with 21st century technology.
Help is on the way
Thus the impetus for the first of a new series of technology/how to parent books entitled "The Modern Parent's Guide to...," released this week.
But this is not a commercial urging you to buy Scott's book (with contributions from family tech guru Johner Riehl and gaming expert Rusel DeMaria). He's literally giving away the first volume, "The Modern Parent's Guide to Video Games and Kids," online.
You can download this first book for free at Scott's "The Modern Parent's Guide to..." site as a PDF file - which you'll have to read on your PC unless you're technically agile enough to transfer the file to read on your e-reader or tablet (the subject of a future post), or just pay the $4 to have it sent directly to your Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook or Sony Reader, no technical legerdemain necessary.
There are four more books coming in "The Modern Parent's Guide to..." series:
- "Internet, Web and Online Safety" (July 2012)
- "Facebook and Social Networks" (December 2012)
- "Smartphones and Apps" (2013)
- "Digital Music, Movies and Entertainment" (2013)
All five volumes supply how-to-parent hints, tips, and how-to guides to make the digital world a safe, fun and healthy part of household life for adults and children - and will be free to download as well.