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Protecting and Empowering Kids in the

Digital World of Texting, Gaming, and
Social Media
Gwenn Schurgin O’Keeffe, MD, FAAP
Published by the American Academy of Pediatrics
141 Northwest Point Blvd, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-1098
Fax: 847/434/8000

Cover design by Wild Onion Design, Inc.

Back cover photo by David Fox, Photographer
Book design by Linda Diamond

CyberSafe: Protecting and Empowering Kids in the Digital World of Texting, Gaming, and Social Media was
created by Gwenn Schurgin O’Keeffe, MD, FAAP.

Library of Congress Control Number: 2010903969

ISBN: 978-1-58110-452-3

The recommendations in this publication do not indicate an exclusive course of treatment or

serve as a standard of medical care. Variations, taking into account individual circumstances,
may be appropriate.

Statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the
American Academy of Pediatrics.

Products are mentioned for informational purposes only. Inclusion in this publication does
not imply endorsement by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The American Academy of
Pediatrics is not responsible for the content of the resources mentioned in this publication.
Web site addresses are as current as possible, but may change at any time.

Every effort is made to keep CyberSafe consistent with the most recent advice
and information possible.

Copyright © 2011 Gwenn Schurgin O’Keeffe, MD, FAAP. No part of this publication may be
reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior permission from the publisher.
Printed in the United States of America.
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: Parents, Start Your Digital Engines! Xv

Part 1
The Internet Unplugged
Chapter 1 Old Versus New Media 1
Chapter 2 The World of Google 7
Chapter 3 An Internet Tour 17
Chapter 4 Calling Dr Google 23
Chapter 5 The Tangled Web We Weave 33
Chapter 6 Internet Safety: Myths Versus Reality 39

Part 2
The Teen/Tween-O-Sphere Uncensored

Section 1 Snapshot of Daily Life

Chapter 7 Screen Time and Childhood 47

Chapter 8 Digital Life: Real Kids, Real Families, Real Issues 59
Chapter 9 The Parent-O-Sphere: The Digital Divide 71
Chapter 10 How and When Kids Get Online 81
Chapter 11 Understanding Tweens and Teens 91

Section 2 Online Technologies

Chapter 12 The Internet and Web 2.0 105

Chapter 13 Instant Communication Primer 111
Chapter 14 Social Networking 101 123
Chapter 15 Twitter 101 143
Chapter 16 How Digital Kids Share, Think, and Organize 153

Part 3
Safety Is a State of Mind

Chapter 17 The Digital Footprint 167

Chapter 18 Internet Safety Tools 179
Chapter 19 Online Gaming and Virtual Worlds 211
Chapter 20 The Risks of New Media Culture 225
Chapter 21 Online Parent Traps 241

Conclusion: We Live in One World—Let’s Parent That Way! 251

A Glossary and Cyber-Dictionary 259
B Digital Media Use Pyramids 285
C Social Media Use Table 289
D Teen Use and Abuse of Today’s Web 2.0
Technologies 291
E Risk Table 295
F American Academy of Pediatrics Talking to
Kids and Teens About Social Media and Sexting 297
G Dr Gwenn’s Media Time Family Pledge 303
H The Safe-Surfing Contract: My Agreement
About Using the Internet 305
I Family Internet Safety Gameplan 307
J Resources 309

Index 321

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