Facebook’s big stock offering on Wall Street must be followed by an intensive debate on Main Street about social media’s powerful impact on children, an expert on the topic says.
Jim Steyer, founder of Common Sense Media, a San Francisco think tank focusing on media and families, said the technology that Facebook represents is having “an enormous impact” on youngsters, families and schools worldwide.
“We need to have a big national, if not global conversation about the pros and cons of that,” Mr Steyer, a father of four who is also a civil rights lawyer and Stanford University professor, told AFP.
While social media such as Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter offer “extraordinary possibilities” in such areas as education, he said, “there are also real downsides in a social, emotional and cogitative development way.”
“Hopefully, after the flurry of the IPO and after the valuation of Facebook is done, then we can have a very serious ongoing discussion of what this means,” he said.
Mr Steyer was in Washington to promote his just-published book “Talking Back to Facebook: The Common Sense Guide to Raising Kids in the Digital Age,” which argues for greater parental involvement in their children’s online lives.
“Whether we like it or not, kids are now spending far more time with media and technology than they are with their families or in school,” — as much as eight hours a day on average in the United States alone, he wrote. (AFP)