March 2018

This April: The First Conference on Reducing Children’s Screen Time; Mr. Zuckerberg: Tear Down This App; Unplug for Screen-Free Week!; Unlike Facebook, Netflix Can Read a Room; Action Network Webinars; Featured Resource; Recommended Reading & Viewing

Newsletter HTML: 

In This Issue:

  • This April: The First Conference on Reducing Children’s Screen Time
  • Mr. Zuckerberg: Tear Down This App
  • Unplug for Screen-Free Week!
  • Unlike Facebook, Netflix Can Read a Room
  • Action Network WebinarS
  • Featured Resource
  • Recommended Reading & Viewing

This April: The First Conference on Reducing Children’s Screen Time  

Everyone’s talking about kids and screens: tech industry insiders are asking what addictive tech is doing to children’s brains, Facebook is targeting kids while selling out adults’ personal data, and parents and teachers are questioning the amount of screen-based instruction being pushed onto students. But the Children’s Screen Time Action Network is going beyond naming problems. We’re bringing people together to create solutions. Join us in Boston April 20 & 21 to be part of these crucial conversations. 

Hear from speakers like Dr. Richard Freed, Nancy Carlsson-Page, EdD, and the AAP’s Jenny Radesky. Learn about how tech companies keep kids hooked on devices, the relationship between device overuse and commercialism, and what happens when kids don’t get enough physical time and space. And, most importantly, meet practitioners, experts, and caregivers who know what really works when it comes to reducing kids’ screen time. 

This event isn’t just endless panels and talking heads: we’ve built in plenty of time for collaboration and networking, and we’re offering a host of working groups to keep the momentum going after the conference. Space is limited, so register now! 

Thanks to our Sponsors:

Instituto Alana | Church Communities Foundation | Matt Damon
Dawn Daniel, MD, & Herbert Madan
Centre for Child Honouring | Cream Hill Foundation | PEP Parent Encouragement Program

Mr. Zuckerberg: Tear Down This App 

More than 20,000 people have signed on to our campaign asking Mark Zuckerberg to scrap Facebook Messenger Kids, the first major social networking app for children as young as 5. Parents, teachers, psychologists, caregivers, and tech experts are asking Zuckerberg to put kids’ wellbeing ahead of corporate profits. As one parent signer said, “This ‘safer’ online platform for young kids is actually Facebook trying to build brand loyalty in children. There are better ways to use Facebook’s power.”

Facebook’s power is an especially hot topic given recent news about the platform’s role in shaping our democracy. Mark Zuckerberg has issued a public apology about losing control of the sensitive information of 50 million users, but he needs to do more. Cancelling Messenger Kids is a great way for him to demonstrate that Facebook is truly committed to using its enormous reach and power responsibly. Sign our petition and ask him to do just that!

Unplug for Screen-Free Week! 

Screen-Free Week is April 30 – May 6, 2018! For one full week, schools, families, and entire communities will have the opportunity to rediscover life without screens. Read a book, plant a garden, visit a museum, play in the woods, go for a long walk, make art – the possibilities are endless! Whether you’re a long-time celebrant or newly curious, the week offers an opportunity to disconnect from corporate tech and re-engage with the world around you. Past participants tell us that going screen-free has helped them feel invigorated, relaxed, and connected with each other (and we know from experience that they’re right!). Find free resources, look up celebrations near you, or register your Screen-Free Week at www.screenfreeweek.org

Unlike Facebook, Netflix Can Read a Room 

In March, we learned that Netflix was testing a manipulative new feature that encouraged kids to watch more television: children could earn digital collectible patches as a “reward” for watching episodes of popular kids’ movies and TV shows. CCFC’s Josh Golin was quoted in Gizmodo, saying,“It’s just incredible to me that as we’re having this national conversation about how tech is often designed for the benefit of tech companies at the expense of users well-being, that Netflix would test something like this.” Days later, Netflix pulled the plug on this harmful idea. Netflix’s quick reversal is a testament to the growing movement to hold tech companies accountable for the manipulative techniques they use to hook kids. 

Action Network Webinars 

Thanks to Dr. Kathy Masarie and Kathy Keller Jones of the Family Empowerment Network for hosting our third Action Network webinar! Face-to-Face: Empowering Families to Live Mindfully in our Digital World suggested seven parenting touchstones to help parents avoid the pitfalls of digital device overuse. If you missed it, the recording is available here on the Network Resource Library. Other available webinars include Dr. Richard Freed’s Screen Time and Family Relationships and Dr. Dipesh Navsaria’s Screen Time Is Not a Luxury Issue.

Action Network webinars feature discussions about how screen time impacts child development, academics, social development, and family life. If there is a topic you’d like to see covered, or if you’d like to contribute, email us at info@screentimenetwork.org

Featured Resource

Looking for resources to share with families? The Screen Time Action Network features a variety of helpful materials from occupational therapist, activist, and author Cris Rowan. Rowan’s “Zone’in” program addresses impairments in children caused by a dependence on technology. Check out the Action Network Resource Library for “Video Games and Your Child,” “Technology Addiction Questionnaire,” the “Unplug’in Brochure,” and many more. Don’t miss Rowan’s breakout session at the Action Network Conference April 20-21st in Boston! 

Recommended Reading & Viewing