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 Amazon.com

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.
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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.

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