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The Digital Mystique by Sarah Granger

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CHAPTER FOUR

THE KIDS ARE ONLINE

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”

—Margaret Mead, American anthropologist and author

One day last year, I bumped into a mom blogger friend of mine who looked distraught. She launched into a hurried explanation about how her twelve-year-old daughter was texting some “boy friend” (not to be confused with a boyfriend, she said) throughout the day and that their last phone bill was outrageous. When my friend sat her young teenager down to talk, her daughter demanded a bigger data plan for her cell phone. “It’s not healthy!” my friend cried.

She was experiencing a family crisis, triggered by her teen’s need for constant connectedness. This mom’s visible frustration signaled to me the cultural ...

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