The Time is Now; Countdown to Screen-Free Week!; Action Network activists come together in DC; Upcoming Webinar: Why Wait Until 8th; New Parent Professional Working Group; Featured Resource; Recommended Reading
In this issue:
- The Time is Now
- Countdown to Screen-Free Week!
- Action Network activists come together in DC
- Upcoming Webinar: Why Wait Until 8th
- New Parent Professional Working Group
- Featured Resource
- Recommended Reading
The Time is Now
Our allies in Congress have just proposed the strongest restrictions on marketing to children in 20 years. Legislation introduced by Senators Hawley and Markey would:
- Ban all targeted marketing to children under 13. That means no using kids' locations, interests, browsing habits, or anything else about them to target them with ads.
- Hold companies like YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat accountable for profiting off of the millions of underage children they entice to their sites.
- Protect kids' data for longer. Privacy protections would extend to age 15, instead of stopping at age 13.
- Create a child-focused division at the Federal Trade Commission to specifically enforce these new rules.
This is a huge deal – and it can't wait. Every day, tech companies collect billions of data points from kids – names, addresses, locations, likes, dislikes, browsing habits, search terms, and more. That data gets sold to marketers, who use it to target kids with highly manipulative, personalized ads designed to shape their behavior and values. Those ads follow kids and teens across devices: their tablets, phones, computers, smart speakers, and even TVs.
The internet's business model is bad for kids. Will you help change that with a monthly gift to CCFC's Privacy Fund?
Gifts to the Privacy Fund go directly to support the research, face-to-face advocacy, congressional meetings, coalition building, and public education it takes to pass groundbreaking legislation like this.
Soon, we'll be sharing other ways you can support this legislation, including contacting your legislators and helping with other outreach. But in this critical early stage, please make a contribution if you can. And by making a monthly contribution, you make it easier for us to efficiently plan and use our resources, so we can do the work that really matters: advocating for kids' needs.
Countdown to Screen-Free Week!
Just one month until the best week of the year! From April 29 to May 5, families, schools, and communities around the world will unplug from digital entertainment to connect with each other and the natural world.
As our Rinny Yourman writes at the Children and Nature blog, "Screen-Free Week is an especially magical week for nudging the kids in our lives to spend time outdoors." Time spend outside and in nature is an essential part of a healthy childhood, but with kids spending 2, 4, or even 8 hours a day on entertainment screens, there's often little time left for outdoor fun. Whether it's family hikes, community gardening, or just lying there and taking nature in, there are so many incredible opportunities that open up when we shut down YouTube, Fortnite, and Facebook for a week. Please take a moment to read Rinny's heartfelt piece, then head to screenfree.org to find Screen-Free Week celebrations near you. Already planning to celebrate? Register to get tips and tools to make the most of your unplugged freedom!
Action Network activists come together in DC
This month, CCFC's Children's Screen Time Action Network hosted our first-ever working group retreat! 18 members of the Screens in Schools group came together for an all-day, face-to-face meeting to plan their strategic activities for the year ahead. "The retreat helped us confirm our mission and outline projects for the next six months," explained working group chair Seth Evans. "Meeting in person allowed us to build bonds and respect that will drive the group's work going forward."
The day yielded ambitious goals, including plans for a toolkit for parents and educators with templates, fact sheets, slide stacks for public presentations, and draft policy recommendations that could generate legislative action. Many, many thanks to the Action Network members who joined us!
Upcoming Webinar: Why Wait Until 8th
On April 10 at 3:30 ET, join Wait Until 8th founder Brooke Shannon and Dr. Natasha Burgert as they discuss why it's important to delay giving kids smartphones. Many children get their first smartphone at age 10, when they aren't ready for the challenges of having their own device. Wait Until 8th empowers families to delay smartphone use until at least 8th grade by pledging to wait together. The result? Kids get to be kids longer and parents don't have to choose between worrying their children will be left out or giving them a powerful device they're not ready for. Learn more about this exciting national movement and how you can bring it to your community! Register here.
New Parent Professional Working Group
Social workers, parent educators, and parenting coaches are a hugely valuable resource in helping families understand the risks of ad-supported screens, and we're thrilled to be able to support them with the Action Network's new Parent Professionals working group! This collaborative group will support members through education, opportunities to collaborate, and creating helpful messaging for members to use with the parents they serve. To join, email working group Chair Rhonda Moskowitz. (Not an Action Network member? Sign up here!)
In the latest entry from Defending the Early Years' mini-documentary series, early childhood educator Kisha Reid explains what children learn from play and why it's so essential to early education. When adults step back and give children the opportunity to learn in a play-based environment, kids' creativity flourishes. In one particularly charming example, Kisha describes how her students came up with a formula for mud pies at their pretend restaurant. We'd love the recipe!
- In the not-too-distant future, the rich get human contact, and the rest of us get...screens.
- YouTube unboxing videos take advantage of children's developmental vulnerabilities and sell them on toys and materialism.
- CCFC Board member Dr. Dipesh Navsaria on the 'skills gap' that all parents face.
- How Big Tobacco used its dirty cigarette marketing tricks to hook kids on sugary drinks.
- When influencers market unhealthy food, kids are more likely to make unhealthy choices.
- Spending more time outdoors can help children become more resilient adults.
- New research shows that reading print books to your toddler is better than using e-books together.
- Teacher Justin Parmenter outlines why online preschool is a "shockingly bad" idea.