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TOTALLY WIRED: What Teens and Tweens are Really Doing Online

Last week, I had a chance to talk to Anastasia Goodstein, author of the book TOTALLY WIRED:  What Teens and Tweens are Really Doing Online. I spoke to Anastasia for my blog over at Disney’s Family.com. The information I got from her was really interesting and helpful to me as a parent of a “tween” and a teen.  Goodstein is a sharp cookie.  She’s an author, journalist and marketing expert on the “Generation Y” consumer.  She writes an excellent blog for media and marketing professionals about the “Generation Y” consumer market called YPulse.

What I found refreshing about Anastasia Goodstein’s book is that she approaches teen and tween technology use from a positive point-of-view.  It seems like so many articles about teens and tweens online use centers on the bad stuff that has happened.

As a self-proclaimed “geek” and blogger, I am comfortable navigating the waters as far as new technology and new media are concerned.  But parenting is a whole different ball game.

My talk with Anastasia was so helpful that I wanted to share some of the information with the readers at Emerging Customer.  If you’re a parent or if you plan on becoming a parent, TOTALLY WIRED is a great resource.   I am breaking up this topic into two parts.  The first part is below and the second part will be posted on Wednesday.

Wired Tips for Parents of Tweens from Anastasia Goodstein:

most important “tip” for parents of tweens and teens is
to engage with your children around their technology use. They are
growing up with the internet and cell phones and are living a big
chunk of their lives digitally. So when you see them texting, IMing
or MySpacing, remember, they are doing what kids and teens have
always done (including you!), they’re just doing it “totally
wired.” You don’t have to be that tech savvy to do what
parents do best – set limits and be their guide. You don’t
have to be a computer programmer to help them determine which sites
are appropriate to hang out on as well as which sites to use as
sources for homework.

Question:  When should parents start talking to kids about online use, cell phone use and online communities?

the conversation now:
It’s never too early to start talking
to kids about the internet. First of all, Safety is one of the most important issues.

The internet is a virtual public space. The “don’t talk
to strangers rule” applies here, too, with the added
realization that people can easily pose as other people online.
Adults can pose as children, and vice versa. Tell tweens never to
post revealing personal information like their last name, physical
address or phone number. I would advise caution around tweens posting
photos as well. Most importantly, encourage them to talk to you if
they are ever approached by someone who makes them feel uncomfortable
or if they make a new friend who wants to meet in person. If the
friend seems legit, call their parents and set up a time to meet as a


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