‘Born Digital’: A Review

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Eight years after lawyers and kid experts John Palfrey and Urs Gasser published their first edition, this year sees an update to their seminal Born Digital: How Children Grow Up in a Digital Age.

Any book about the internet and how we use it is out of date before the publisher signs off on the final draft. The authors acknowledge this, setting themselves the challenge of looking beyond the now to the more pervasive, core trends around kids and technology. They do so with style and with research, looking at what may well now be literally timeless issues of security, privacy, data, cyberbullying, and identity.

But they also do it with a glass-half-full approach. As they look at the increasing blending of our analog and digital lives, they paint a complex but ultimately uplifting view of the technologies that surround our kids—and which we must consider as parents.

Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of how kids navigate the world digitally. The new edition brings us up to speed on everything from Snapchat to Black Lives Matter. It’s a great primer for any parent who wants a thoughtful look at just what lies ahead for any kid with a smartphone in their back pocket.

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