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“When my daughter was a preschooler in 2011, her request for technology was a simple choice between a talking cartoon dog or a Teletubbies video. But modern parenting has taken a wild turn. Games now come with complicated storylines and mysterious characters, and social media apps come with unknown risks and long-term consequences. Parents unknowingly became sole gatekeepers to this technology fortress—but that doesn’t stop our kids from finding ways across the moat.
As a mom raising a Gen Z’er, part of my job is to set boundaries and teach her how to balance the addicting and constantly evolving virtual world with the real one. With an iPhone in hand and access to so many gaming and social networking apps, her desire to be online all the time is a challenge.
Our reality isn’t unique. A May report from the Pew Research Center found that 95% of US teens have a smartphone, and 45% of teens are online on a near-constant basis. (This data is supported by a personal analysis of our car rides, during which she once didn’t notice that I sang the same Fleetwood Mac song 14 times in a row.)
My daughter’s relationship with technology isn’t much different than my own. I spend hours reading an endless stream of Facebook posts while I lie in bed. I watch videos recommended for me, starting with a Jimmy Fallon Late Night clip at 10pm and ending on a heart-wrenching dog reunion video by midnight. After four years working for a tech startup and checking Slack on my phone all hours of the day, I decided to experiment with removing the app. But before I even opened my eyes for the next few days, I found myself mentally searching for the app to check for any messages. People of all ages, myself included, face challenges with creating boundaries for how much time they spend on their phones and the apps on them.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"After five years of war with the Islamic State, the biggest problem for the winners is coping with the losers. The aftermath has produced one of the world’s most perplexing postwar challenges..."
"What do we mean when we say that the “soul of the city” is under threat? Often, it’s really about politics, nostalgia, and the fear of community change."
"...the pendulum of history never stops moving. Indeed, one of the few constants of history is unceasing change. While we seem to be heading in one direction, we must remember that there will surely be pauses, turns, and reversals."
""Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé," premiered early Wednesday and it was the fulfillment of all the ancestors' hopes and dreams. Beyoncé also dropped "Homecoming: The Live Album.""
"Seven in 10 adults ages 18 to 34 received financial support from their parents in the last year, including more than half of those in their early 30s. Almost three in five millennials said they couldn’t afford their lifestyles without the support."
"Social media influencers have helped turn public lands into tourist-infested swamps. And one cantankerous man is fighting back."
"One particular myth that attached itself to Ledger was that his death was somehow a result of immersing himself in the character of the Joker."
"In 2018, for the second year in a row, American publishers released fewer translated titles: 609 books were published, down from 650 in 2017 and the industry high in 2016 of 666."
"Egg freezing had become so routine among my single peers that when I hit 35, I never thought twice. Here’s what I wish I had known."
"When it comes to Passover cuisine, most home cooks know to avoid wheat, oats, rye, and other forbidden ingredients. But what consumers might not realize is just how much cotton they eat during the holiday."
"A masked figure looms over your recumbent body, wielding power tools and sharp metal instruments, doing things to your mouth you cannot see."
"Passover is a holiday that commemorates the Jewish people escaping slavery in Egypt. It is often referred to as the “festival of freedom.” My Passover in prison was at a place called the Wallkill Correctional Facility..."