Whether you don’t know what Twitter is or you are all-too-aware of the potential trouble the Internet can bring children, Raising Digital Families for Dummies by Amy Lupold Bair of Resourceful Mommy can help you.
The book, part of the popular “For Dummies” series of how-to books, serves as a great primer for tech neophytes but also acts as a tipped-filled resource for parents up on the latest social media platforms.
Bair covers basics like online etiquette and hot topics like cyberbullying while covering must-knows like the trail of “digital footprints” one’s online usage leaves behind.
She goes into exhaustive detail about many devices and services, and how to tweak the privacy settings on most of them. While some of the book’s technical data is bound to change (Flickr recently underwent an enormous cosmetic and policy issue change and, as always, Facebook’s privacy settings remain mercurial), she gives you the proper tools and reasoning to make it easy to extrapolate what to do as technology evolves.
One of the book’s most useful chapters details the hows and whys of creating a “digital family” policy. She gives some excellent guidelines on how to communicate with your child clearly and effectively, and what major pitfalls to avoid. She also provides tips on how to monitor your kids’ online accounts.
Another useful chapter details online kids’ networks. Once again, these are bound to change over time, but they are accurate right now. Other sections cover: gaming, including information on game ratings; various devices for kids; and (briefly) teen blogging and entrepreneurship.
For an entry-level book, the scope and information are impressive. Bair does a great job explaining difficult concepts and lays a groundwork for digital dummies to learn more. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about the subject matter, and even I learned some new things.
If you are a digital “immigrant” trying to understand your digital “native” kids, Raising Digital Families for Dummies would be an invaluable source of information. If you are already a blogger or digital maven, I am sure you’ll learn something new from the content. And, if you are a digital teen with clueless parents, this would be a good book to read to understand where your parents are coming from.