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Family

Facebook your kids? Tweet your granny? E-mail your sister? However you want to connect with (or avoid) your family members, networks can help. This page has inspiration, strategies and advice on how to harness technology to creating the family relationships you want.

You’ll find that a lot of these articles reflect my current stage of life as the mother of two young kids. But I also round up news about how Facebook, FourSquare, Twitter and other social media tools affect teens, aging parents and other family dynamics.

Make a family tech schedule

April 11, 2012

Today’s practice: Make a family tech schedule. We recently took the bold, terrifying step of pulling all the gaming consoles (Xbox, Playstation and Wii) out of our home media center, and sending them on a vacation to the closet. We took this measure in response to our kid’s increasing obsession with video gaming, and on [...]

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Stop worrying about your kids’ online future

February 29, 2012

I’m one of more than a thousand Internet experts who contributed thoughts about our emergent digital world to the 2012 Elon University-Pew Internet & American Life study on the future of the Internet. My comments were picked up in the Globe and Mail and MindShift, where I got to carry the banner for the pro-digital side of [...]

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5 online calendars your family can’t live without

February 9, 2012

If you think online calendaring is for scheduling business meetings, appointments and the occasional lunch date, you’re missing out. Online calendars can also be a great way to bring order to the chaos of family life — if you create or subscribe to the essential calendars that will keep your family happy and functional. Here [...]

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Writing about Motherhood Online

December 20, 2011

[O]n the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog, which liberates you to be a bitch. Not a bitch to others — …online mothers’ groups are quick to sanction hostility — but the impatient, imperfect bitch of a mom uses jarred babyfood, disposable diapers and a TV-as sitter. The mom who takes off the halo and [...]

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Got a pregnant friend? There could be an app for that.

November 30, 2011

If you have never been more than 39 weeks pregnant, you may be under the impression that the human gestation period lasts 40 weeks. Hah!  40 weeks, it turns out, is kind of a rough overage. Some babies need to cook for a bit longer. Some babies need to cook a bit less. But when [...]

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Do ebooks help or hurt children’s literacy?

November 21, 2011

Print books may be under siege from the rise of e-books, but they have a tenacious hold on a particular group: children and toddlers. Their parents are insisting this next generation of readers spend their early years with old-fashioned books. This is the case even with parents who themselves are die-hard downloaders of books onto [...]

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8 ways iPhones and iPads affect family discipline

September 15, 2011

There’s nothing like the beginning of a school year to illuminate gaps in your family’s, um….discipline. After a couple of rocky weeks inspired us to take a closer look at our family’s rhythms and regimes, I found myself noting the central role that iPhones and iPads have played in all aspects of our disciplinary approach, [...]

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The 6th tech-inspired kid failure: autotunitis

August 22, 2011

Last week I wrote about 5 tech-related kid failures. I somehow managed to leave out the one that is currently the biggest source of irritation in our house: autotunitis. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the disorder, autotunitis is a vocal condition afflicting children whose exposure to music has been dominated by artists [...]

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5 kid failures caused by technology

August 18, 2011

Live by the sword, die by the sword. Today I’m brutally overtired because our 7-year-old kept us up for an hour in the middle of the night. Cause: nightmares inspired by the iPad game Plants vs. Zombies. If this feels like divine retribution for exposing my kids to brain-rotting video games, it’s far from the [...]

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Are you a parent traveling on business? Here are 15 tips for taking the kids

June 3, 2011

When I first wrote this post in October 2006, LilPnut was only a few months old, and didn’t even have his twitter handle yet. (Who can blame him? Twitter had barely been invented.) Almost five years later we have lots more experience traveling with the kids, and are much less ambitious about integrating business and [...]

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Making art from a lifetime of data

May 30, 2011

This weekend Little Sweetie asked whether she can have my computer when I die. I had to explain that she is unlikely to want it: by the time I die, my current computer will be useless. “But how about this,” I suggested instead. “When I die, you can have whatever computer I have at the [...]

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