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Their Own Devices
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Their Own Devices

Author: Marc Groman and David Reitman

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No matter how tech savvy you are, your kids likely have you beat. Digital natives see the world in a fundamentally different way than all previous generations. This makes 21st century parenting an unprecedented challenge. Join Marc Groman, an Obama White House tech and privacy adviser, and David Reitman, an adolescent medical doctor, for candid discussions and helpful tips about screen time, social media, sexting, privacy, online gaming, and other challenges facing parents today. Marc and David aren't just experts — they’re also married, and raising a teenage son of their own.
26 Episodes
From sexting to cyberbullying, Finstas to Rinstas, medical advice to parenting tips, Marc and David explore many of the highlights from season one. They share their favorite moments from the podcast including some of their guests' most controversial statements, funniest comments and most surprising revelations. After the important lessons and big laughs, Marc and David provide a preview of season two and answer the #1 question everyone keeps asking: "What does their son think about their podcast?"
On this episode Marc and David bring Their Own Devices to the live stage with guest danah boyd, the world renowned computer scientist and author of “It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens.” danah boyd is skeptical that tech has a negative impact on teens and is concerned that their voices are not heard in debates about the future of the online world. Maybe the debate shouldn't be about tech at all? Marc and David, who are parenting a teen today, are not always on the same page as danah, even when they're on the same stage with danah.
Your kid is playing a shooter game. You hear the guns, grenades and mindless shouting. But you know the real battle is coming when you call "dinner" or "bedtime!" The best way to understand your kid's obsession is to pick up a controller yourself and play. If you can't do that, then find a patient 12 year old to explain Fortnite. That's just what Marc and David did. On this episode Jamey, a precocious 7th grader from a small town in Maine, explains Fortnite, digital citizenship, game ratings and more in a way that any technophobe can grasp. You'll learn, you'll laugh and you'll probably be more comfortable with at least some video games after this episode.
Have you heard about the magic door our kids use? This isn’t a video game. Kids walk through this door and all of the rules, limits and restrictions parents place on technology disappear. You may know this magical gateway by its more common name, “the front door of a friend’s house.” On this episode Marc and David chat with 2 guests: that “embarrassing Dad” who raises tech concerns with other parents before play dates and Laura Tierney, a former digital marketing executive who now works with kids to help them have a positive experience with social media.
Parents often warn their kids that everything posted online is permanent and that there's no guarantee that data will remain private. It's good advice but can you actually explain that? What does it really mean when we hit "delete," empty the recycle bin, take down a single post, deactivate a social media account, or set a message to expire? Parents raising digital natives should understand what happens to our kids' data before there's a crisis with a picture, post, snap, or tweet. On this episode, Marc and David are joined by computer science professor Abigail Marsh who breaks down this topic for non-techies, highlighting what parents need to know to keep up with our kids.
On this episode Marc & David sit down with 4 high school students and get right to the question most parents are wondering: “If we had access to your Finsta or “fake Instagram” account, what would we find?” The guests don’t hold back and take Marc and David on an entertaining and eye opening journey through the secret digital lives of today’s teens. It turns out Instagram and finstas in particular play a central role in teen culture- for better or for worse.
Talking About Cyber Hate

Talking About Cyber Hate


The Internet didn't create hate speech. But the digital world has transformed its reach, volume and dangerous tone in unprecedented ways. It's only a matter of time before our kids encounter cyber hate. When it does surface, we want them to be prepared. On this episode Marc and David discuss the proliferation of cyber hate with Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), one of the most respected civil rights organizations in the country, which operates the ADL Center on Technology & Society to help tackle this online epidemic.
The Social Media Generation

The Social Media Generation


Social media use among teens is increasing year to year. These digital platforms enable adolescents to communicate more, meet new people, build communities, be creative, and express themselves. But surveys and studies suggest that the expanding use of social media places enormous pressure on teens, and that the decline in face-to-face interactions is leading to a range of negative outcomes. As adults we’re observers of this digital culture, but our kids are living it. What do they think? On this episode Marc and David sit down with three high school students who have examined how social media has influenced their lives and their generation. It turns out, we can learn a lot from them.
Is your teen spending too much time in front of screens? Excessive and compulsive use of digital tech may affect school, relationships and sleep as well as both physical and mental health. The problem is real and parents are worried. But is it an addiction? When does consistent use of tech evolve into excessive, uncontrolled or dysfunctional use requiring intervention? What should parents be looking for? On this episode Marc and David invite back Dr. Michael Rich, more widely known as The Mediatrician, to discuss everything parents need to know about so-called “Internet Addiction.”
As parents in the digital age, we’re likely to see troubling things online about other children in our community. Your son or daughter may proactively show you another kid’s post or perhaps you discover something concerning when monitoring your own child’s social media accounts and devices. It could be sexually suggestive images, photos of teens engaging in illegal behavior, an offensive meme, cruel comments, thoughts about self-harm, or unusually violent videos. When should one parent contact another parent about something she saw online? And when is that likely to just make everything worse? On this episode, Marc and David explore these controversial and emotionally-charged issues with two California Moms, Michelle Dennedy and Sharon Anolik. Michelle is the Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer of Cisco, published author, and advocate. Sharon is an award-winning data strategy, compliance and ethics executive and frequent presenter on privacy, information security, and Internet safety.
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