Mark Zuckerberg's Sister Wrote a Kids' Book About the Hazards of Wasting Time on the Internet

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Oct. 17 2013 2:10 PM

Mark Zuckerberg's Sister Wrote a Kids' Book About the Hazards of Wasting Time on the Internet

Dot book - Randi Zuckerberg
"Step away from the iPad."

Cover illustration via

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's sister, Randi Zuckerberg, has written a children's book. The book is called Dot, and like most children's books, it has a moral. The moral is that Facebook is an insidious time-suck and ought to be avoided at all costs.

OK, that's not quite it. I haven't seen the book, so perhaps I should just let Randi Zuckerberg explain what it's about:

Dot loves technology. A LOT. She’s obsessed with her devices (sound familiar?), but with a little push, she’s reminded that life’s a little bit richer when you look up from the screen.
As I watch my two-year-old begin to discover technology, I feel certain that this is an important message to share with a younger audience.

To New York's Kevin Roose, Randi Zuckerberg writing a book about the perils of being online all the time is a little like "Mario Batali's sister writing a low-carb cookbook." That's not a terrible analogy, but I'm not sure it amounts to, as Roose writes, "a passive-aggressive swipe at the obsessive social-media culture her brother's company helped create.

Zuckerberg opens her blog post about the book by noting that "although technology is making our lives easier and helping keep us connected, many parents are worried about how to raise their children in this new digital era." That sounds more pragmatic than passive-aggressive. Still, it is a bit awkward that news of the book is dropping at the same time that Facebook is loosening its privacy rules for teens on the grounds that "they want to be heard."

Meanwhile, Randi Zuckerberg is also coming out with a second book about online culture and etiquette aimed at adults. That one's called Dot Complicated, and I look forward to handy tips on how to avoid faux pas like accidentally sharing a family photo on Facebook with the world at large.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.



The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers


Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.


The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.