Stories that drive conversation

From Twitter and Facebook shares to print and broadcast coverage, my stories get people talking. Here are a few recent examples of my attention-getting work — along with links to selected coverage.

This data-driven story revealed the key divide among parents today: the divide between parents who enable their kids’ tech use, those who limit tech, and those who actively mentor their kids online. Based on original data I gathered on more than ten thousand North American parents, it generated a fresh wave of debate over the meaning of screen time.

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Parents: Reject Technology Shame

“Just as abstinence-only sex education doesn’t prevent teen pregnancy, it seems that keeping kids away from the digital world just makes them more likely to make bad choices once they do get online.”

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Email used to run my life — but it doesn’t have to be that way. This feature for the front page of the Journal”s Leadership Report caught fire online with its practical, engaging approach to managing email.

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“According to Alexandra Samuel, the author of Work Smarter With Social Media, email is ineffective because it’s rooted in old-fashioned expectations about communication. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, she points out that people typically write emails as they would a letter–with the expectation that the person reading it will reply instantly upon receiving.”

What’s the real reason we worry about kids and screen time? I offered a provocative answer in this Mother’s Day story for my JSTOR Daily column, The Digital Voyage. My post attracted widespread coverage, as well as extensive social media sharing.

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Kids’ Screentime is a Feminist Issue

“Our screen time fixation isn’t about kids at all. It’s about mothers. What’s really going on is an age-old problem: we don’t like innovations that make mothers’ lives easier.”

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The expertise to cover a range of digital stories

My two decades of tech research and writing have been driven by one core question: how can people and organizations best navigate the challenging transition to a digital world? That question has driven stories ranging from online surveillance to autistic tech support. My voice is as varied as my material: I love writing research- and data-driven articles that offer deep analysis of challenging subjects, and I’ve also won a large audience for my humorous and narrative stories.

To Fix Fake News, Look to Yellow Journalism

To Fix Fake News, Look to Yellow Journalism

Think "fake news" is a new phenomenon? This piece for JSTOR Daily looks at the long tradition of lousy journalism -- most notably, the "yellow journalism" phenomenon of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. read more

How to Use Online Games and Activities to Connect to Grandchildren

How to Use Online Games and Activities to Connect to Grandchildren

This feature for The Wall Street Journal spells out the way online activities like Minecraft, social media and geocaching can bridge the generational divide. read more

Worried about surveillance under Trump?

Worried about surveillance under Trump?

What do activists, journalists and plain old-fashioned citizens need to know about online privacy in the Trump era? read more

An open letter to the police officer who helped my autistic son

An open letter to the police officer who helped my autistic son

I've lived in fear of the day when I'd need police assistance with my autistic son. But when that day came, it brought a beautiful surprise. read more

So Much Great TV. How Do You Choose?

So Much Great TV. How Do You Choose?

This feature for the Wall Street Journal landed on the cover of their Trends Report, with a teaser on the paper's front page. That visibility spoke to the broad appeal of this story mapping out the best way to organize TV viewing, along with an original infographic I created myself. read more

Personal technology and the autistic child

Personal technology and the autistic child

From behavior tracking to digital therapy, there is an ever-growing range of ways technology can help autistic kids. Writing as both a tech expert and the mom of an autistic child, I mapped out some of the most effective ways we can put technology to work for our kids. This story appeared in the Journal's Report on Health Care. read more

How to Raise the Next Mark Zuckerberg

How to Raise the Next Mark Zuckerberg

How can we prepare our kids for big-time tech entrepreneurship? This controversial story was featured on the cover of the Journal's Report on Small Business, and teasered on the newspaper's front page. I also created the content and data for a related sidebar, "Growing Up With Tech". read more

Peak link: What I learned about Facebook’s algorithm from looking at my 4,632 posts

Peak link: What I learned about Facebook’s algorithm from looking at my 4,632 posts

This story analyzed 9 years' worth of my Facebook data to figure out what's changed about the algorithm, and what it means for content creators. read more

The Social Cost of Bad Online Marketing

The Social Cost of Bad Online Marketing

How online marketing is breaking the Internet -- and how we can do better. read more

Conquering Digital Distraction

Conquering Digital Distraction

The June 2015 print edition of the Harvard Business Review featured this he said/she said story, in which I argued that switching off is the wrong way to handle digital overload. read more

‘Plug In Better’: A Manifesto

‘Plug In Better’: A Manifesto

The trick isn't to unplug from our devices -- it's to unplug from the distractions, information overload, and trash that make us unhappy. This argument against unplugging was included in "The Atlantic's Best Technology Writing". read more

Your Weakest Security Link? Your Children

Your Weakest Security Link? Your Children

This feature for the Wall Street Journal's Information Security report flagged a new kind of security threat: your kids. The story featured original data on the incidence and management of child security threats, based on a survey I developed, deployed and analyzed. read more

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