Analyzes the influence of technology and social media on human development with parents and families in mind.
This is a story about a family coming of age at the same time as smartphones and social media; a multiracial family coming into its own as windows into social injustice opened up before our very screens; and a multi-parent multi-professional family with children living differently depending on which house and which combination of family members happen to be home. While it is a story about a family, it is really the story of technological and global changes unfolding on our doorsteps.
While many revile the ascendance of smartphones and social media and the way they suck us into the vortex of cyberspace, there are cultural touchpoints that reflect deeper human and technology development patterns, patterns which we would all do well to understand, no matter whether or how we choose to engage in the ever-innovating digital frontiers. Informed by research and interviews with leaders in policy, human development, ethics, and technology Loretta Brady helps readers understand the complex systemic challenges and findings related to technology and human development.
We do not have to hate or fear technology. It is neither friend nor foe. But understanding its impact on our daily lives is paramount to cultivating a healthier relationship both with our digital lives and our real, lived ones.
Loretta L.C. Brady, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and Professor of psychology at Saint Anselm College where she directs Community Resilience and Social Equity Lab (CRSEL). She previously served as co-director for the Center for Teaching Excellence. She serves on the boards of several task forces and local non-profits including youth serving organizations and healthcare systems. She is the author of Bad Ass & Bold: A Transformative Approach to Planning with Your Loves, Dreams, and Realities in Mind (www.badassandbold.com). Her award-winning writing has been recognized by the New England Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Jack Jones Literary Arts, and the New England Press Association. Her work has appeared in New Hampshire Business Review, Business NH Magazine, and she has been a source for the New York Times, USA Today, and the Washington Post. She lives in Manchester, NH, with her family and dog, Zelda.
1 Parenting in the Age of Anti-Social Media
2 Selfies, “Usies,” and Attachment
3 Memes, Meaning, and Me
4 The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
5 Sensitive Periods, Disparate Impact, and Sensitization
6 Technology Touchpoints
8 Befriending and Believing
12 Value and Values
13 Regulation, but Whose?
14 Socializing Social Media
15 Memory, Creativity, Courage
About the Author and Contributors
At what age should a child have a smartphone or engage in social media? How much screen time is safe? Coming to terms with these and many other questions while navigating the ever-changing technological landscape is one of the greatest challenges of parenthood. To that end, licensed clinical psychologist and university professor Brady draws on her extensive research with the hope of providing some guidance. Herself the mother of five children, she doesn’t propose to know all the answers. Rather, she focuses on "technology touchpoints": time periods in child development when families might be most vulnerable to risks associated with technology and social media. Notes, an extensive bibliography, and an index clearly place this work in the academic realm, as the author thoughtfully explores topical issues that may go beyond the needs and interests of parents looking for quick, yet authoritative answers. But for parents, caregivers, and educators looking for a deep dive into the effects of technology and social media on families and children, this is a solid, well-researched choice.
Dr. Brady’s book offers insights and strategies for parents navigating the digital world with their children. She provides practical advice on topics such as connecting with children despite technology, internet safety messaging, and policies to improve technology for everyone. With so much at stake, Technology Touchpoints is an essential read for any parent struggling to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of the digital world.
Exploring the intersection of human development, psychology, learning, and digital technology, Loretta Brady offers touchpoints for children, parents, families, educators, and policy makers to safely navigate the digital age. She critically examines the potential of digital tools to ignite or extinguish human relationships, communication, and connection, and offers a call to action for the best possible outcomes in our technology-mediated lives.
Technology Touchpoints is a compelling book that movingly weaves Brady's own stories of raising five children in the iPhone era with a keen sociological and psychological analysis of how tech has changed our families and our lives. Readable and engaging, the book will be of interest to parents who are trying to navigate the pressures and temptations of video games, social media, and other technology, as well as those interested in understanding the dramatic technological changes of the last fifteen years.
Technology Touchpoints easily avoids the lure of a negative and depressing analysis of kids absorbed into their smartphones, etc. and offers a broadly thoughtful perspective along with elements of hope for constructively navigating technology and social media with all of its pitfalls and potential.
Exquisitely weaving in references to multiple psychological and developmental theories and constructs along with her personal observations, Dr. Brady seriously explores parallels of human and technology development without becoming overly pedantic.
Rarely do we get a theoretical glimpse of digital media and technology from a mothering perspective. But that’s exactly Dr. Loretta Brady does inside the pages of Technology Touchpoints. The troubled layers of parenting and protection are on full display in this accessible book that provides a perspective of care about the impact of technology on the lives of our youth and its subsequent impacts on family and culture. The narratives that Dr. Brady provides are a compelling overview of where we're headed if we don't empathetically engage the multitude of ways that these technologies and influences are coalescing in the lives of our youth and minoritized communities.
An honest, personal, and provocative book about what it takes to raise kids today and reflect on the power of technology in their lives. Brady gives us new guideposts, doesn't shy from tough questions, and helps to connect the dots across issues of privacy, race, identity, attachment, and relationship-building for today's families. Get ready for a fascinating, all-encompassing, and provocative journey as Brady tells stories about her family's digital parenting struggles and triumphs using compassion, honesty, and humor—marked by a remarkable ability to bridge themes across psychological science, equity, history, policy, artificial intelligence, media literacy, and child development.
5/12/22, Choice: This book was featured in a roundup of forthcoming titles in science & technology.
11/8/22, DigEthix podcast: Dr. Loretta Brady was interviewed about the book.