aNewDomain — “Who needs English when you can teach them geek?” Randi Zuckerberg joked during an address at the Asia Pacific Cities Summit and Mayors’ Forum here in Australia yesterday. The sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and mother of two raised the question: Should we ban our children from using technology during the week?
Zuckerberg isn’t someone you’d expect to be weighing the benefits of getting more kids offline. Now the head of the social media company, Zuckerberg Media, she previously was a senior level marketing director at Facebook.
But over the last few years she has become an increasinly urgent voice in the conversation about getting kids to turn off computers, smartphones and video games — at least some of the time.
Out of Balance
A few telling moments have occurred to push Zuckerberg into this mentality. “She realized one of her son’s friends believed their grandfather lived inside a laptop computer,” and called the computer “grandpa,” unable to discern the difference between the person and the machine.
She also saw a six-month-old baby pretending to text via a remote control for the television. She said at the conference:
It is important that children run in the sunshine away from their computer screens. I hear the ‘graphics’ are great outdoors … technology has many wonderful possibilities but there has to be balance.”
Break-up apps and software that tells you whether you should take a ‘pee break’ at the movies are proof society needs a ‘digital detox.'”
Certainly Zuckerberg’s message resonates with those who feel they are forever struggling for attention against their childrens’ devices and games. And imagine what else kids could be doing with all that time they spend staring at screens. Check out the infographic below.
Heads Up on being Heads Down infographic: Courtesy myjobchart.com
For aNewDomain, I’m David Michaelis.
Featured image: Children at school by Lucélia Ribeiro via Flickr; Body image: Randi Zuckerberg via WikiMedia Commons