Why would you be interested in kids books about social media and digital life?
Kids LOVE screens. It’s a fact.
They are surrounded by new tech, social media, pressure from peers to be up to date.
It’s a constant battle for parents to find the right balance between screen time and ensuring the children are present in the moment.
I recently came across a great big list of kids books about social media and digital life.
Honestly, most of the time telling the children ‘your eyes are going to go square if you continue to stare at the screen’ or trying to explain the dangers of addiction falls on deaf ears, gets an eye roll or the famous ‘my friends are allowed’.
Sometimes, it can feel impossible to get through to them.
These stories involve social media and online behaviour, which makes them so relevant to the lives of our children.
I wonder, would reading these stories maybe have an impact and give the children some perspective about what too much screen time can do? Could the children relate to the story and potentially get something from it? There is only one way to find out.
For younger kids
This short, picture book (written by Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg’s sister) is perfect for a quick story before bedtime. Dot is a tech savvy little girl that is learning to balance her time between computers, ipads and smartphones and being present in the ‘real world’ and playing outside.
Some interesting talking points could be to discuss some of Dot’s activities and which the kids like best.
Talk about how much time your children spend outside playing with friends compared to watching a cartoon or playing on the ipad. Which do they do more of and which is the most fun?
Slightly older children
Nerdy Birdy Tweets is a story about a little bird that becomes obsessed with amassing friends on social media platform ‘Tweetster’, to the point where he starts to ignore his real life friend.
There is a conflict when Nerdy Birdy tweets an embarrassing photo of his friend without her consent.
This book touches upon many issues such as friendship, apologising when you are wrong, screen obsession, internet privacy and oversharing online.
The messages in this book are pointed but delivered with humor and with absolutely brilliantly funny illustrations.
Tweens and Teens
I am not going to recommend any kids books about social media and digital life for this age range for several reasons
– there are loads of books out there focusing on a range of different topics from screen obsession to cyber bullying to losing your feeling of self worth when you don’t get many likes on your insta photo.
I encourage parents to look for books that are specific to their concerns.
– I believe that the messages in books for this age range are put across in a much stronger way, there is often quite an intense story line and it could be disturbing for some children to read about. Therefore, the books may not be suitable for everyone.
I advise parents to do their research and ultimately read the book BEFORE the kids do. Make sure it is age appropriate.
This selection of kids books about social media and digital life came from a long list compiled by Common Sense Media. I would definitely suggest heading over to their website, each book has a summary, points that you could discuss with the kids after reading the book and also reviews from parents.
If you like books with a message behind them, or would like a bit of a guide to introduce difficult subjects, have a look at this set that covers important issues such as poverty or racism in a child-friendly way.