Their Own Devices

Their Own Devices

By Marc Groman and David Reitman

No matter how tech savvy you are, your kids likely have you beat. Digital natives see the world in a fundamentally different way than all previous generations. This makes 21st century parenting an unprecedented challenge. Join Marc Groman, an Obama White House tech and privacy adviser, and David Reitman, an adolescent medical doctor, for candid discussions and helpful tips about screen time, social media, sexting, privacy, online gaming, and other challenges facing parents today. Marc and David aren't just experts — they’re also married, and raising a teenage son of their own.


Like Adolescence, Season One Ends At 25

From sexting to cyberbullying, Finstas to Rinstas, medical advice to parenting tips, Marc and David explore many of the highlights from season one. They share their favorite moments from the podcast including some of their guests' most controversial statements, funniest comments and most surprising revelations. After the important lessons and big laughs, Marc and David provide a preview of season two and answer the #1 question everyone keeps asking: "What does their son think about their podcast?" 
16/05/1936m 12s

It's Complicated: Societal Norms, Teens and Tech

On this episode Marc and David bring Their Own Devices to the live stage with guest danah boyd, the world renowned computer scientist and author of “It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens.” danah boyd is skeptical that tech has a negative impact on teens and is concerned that their voices are not heard in debates about the future of the online world. Maybe the debate shouldn't be about tech at all? Marc and David, who are parenting a teen today, are not always on the same page as danah, even when they're on the same stage with danah. 
09/05/1945m 36s

Ready Parent One: Learning Fortnite

Your kid is playing a shooter game. You hear the guns, grenades and mindless shouting. But you know the real battle is coming when you call "dinner" or "bedtime!" The best way to understand your kid's obsession is to pick up a controller yourself and play. If you can't do that, then find a patient 12 year old to explain Fortnite. That's just what Marc and David did. On this episode Jamey, a precocious 7th grader from a small town in Maine, explains Fortnite, digital citizenship, game ratings and more in a way that any technophobe can grasp. You'll learn, you'll laugh and you'll probably be more comfortable with at least some video games after this episode. 
02/05/1937m 44s

Different Homes, Different Devices, Different Rules

Have you heard about the magic door our kids use? This isn’t a video game. Kids walk through this door and all of the rules, limits and restrictions parents place on technology disappear. You may know this magical gateway by its more common name, “the front door of a friend’s house.” On this episode Marc and David chat with 2 guests: that “embarrassing Dad” who raises tech concerns with other parents before play dates and Laura Tierney, a former digital marketing executive who now works with kids to help them have a positive experience with social media. 
25/04/1938m 7s

There's No Delete Button on the Internet

Parents often warn their kids that everything posted online is permanent and that there's no guarantee that data will remain private. It's good advice but can you actually explain that? What does it really mean when we hit "delete," empty the recycle bin, take down a single post, deactivate a social media account, or set a message to expire? Parents raising digital natives should understand what happens to our kids' data before there's a crisis with a picture, post, snap, or tweet. On this episode, Marc and David are joined by computer science professor Abigail Marsh who breaks down this topic for non-techies, highlighting what parents need to know to keep up with our kids. 
18/04/1941m 19s

Finstas: The "Real" Instagram Account

On this episode Marc & David sit down with 4 high school students and get right to the question most parents are wondering: “If we had access to your Finsta or “fake Instagram” account, what would we find?” The guests don’t hold back and take Marc and David on an entertaining and eye opening journey through the secret digital lives of today’s teens. It turns out Instagram and finstas in particular play a central role in teen culture- for better or for worse. 
11/04/1945m 32s

Talking About Cyber Hate

The Internet didn't create hate speech. But the digital world has transformed its reach, volume and dangerous tone in unprecedented ways. It's only a matter of time before our kids encounter cyber hate. When it does surface, we want them to be prepared. On this episode Marc and David discuss the proliferation of cyber hate with Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), one of the most respected civil rights organizations in the country, which operates the ADL Center on Technology & Society to help tackle this online epidemic. 
04/04/1940m 49s

The Social Media Generation

Social media use among teens is increasing year to year. These digital platforms enable adolescents to communicate more, meet new people, build communities, be creative, and express themselves. But surveys and studies suggest that the expanding use of social media places enormous pressure on teens, and that the decline in face-to-face interactions is leading to a range of negative outcomes. As adults we’re observers of this digital culture, but our kids are living it. What do they think? On this episode Marc and David sit down with three high school students who have examined how social media has influenced their lives and their generation. It turns out, we can learn a lot from them. 
28/03/1942m 24s

The Truth About "Internet Addiction"

Is your teen spending too much time in front of screens? Excessive and compulsive use of digital tech may affect school, relationships and sleep as well as both physical and mental health. The problem is real and parents are worried. But is it an addiction? When does consistent use of tech evolve into excessive, uncontrolled or dysfunctional use requiring intervention? What should parents be looking for? On this episode Marc and David invite back Dr. Michael Rich, more widely known as The Mediatrician, to discuss everything parents need to know about so-called “Internet Addiction.” 
21/03/1942m 41s

Calling Parents About Their Kids’ Online Actions

As parents in the digital age, we’re likely to see troubling things online about other children in our community. Your son or daughter may proactively show you another kid’s post, or perhaps you discover something concerning when monitoring your own child’s social media accounts and devices. It could be sexually suggestive images, photos of teens engaging in illegal behavior, an offensive meme, cruel comments, thoughts about self-harm, or unusually violent videos. When should one parent contact another parent about something she saw online? And when is that likely to just make everything worse? On this episode, Marc and David explore these controversial and emotionally-charged issues with two California Moms, Michelle Dennedy and Sharon Anolik. Michelle is the Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer of Cisco, published author, and advocate. Sharon is an award-winning data strategy, compliance and ethics executive and frequent presenter on privacy, information security, and Internet safety. 
14/03/1941m 27s

How Smartphones and Media Influence Kids’ Behavior

Parents today are raising children in a new digital environment and medical research demonstrates that the use of interactive digital technology affects kids’ behavior and development. Parents need to be conscious of exactly how kids are changed by screens. On this episode, Marc and David explore how digital technologies influence kids with one of the senior-most experts in this field, Dr. Michael Rich, Founder and Director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Boston Children’s Hospital and Professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Rich explains in plain language what parents need to know about the influence of interactive media, violent video games, smartphones and social media on kids. 
07/03/1942m 34s

Teen Sexting: A Girl's Perspective

The sharing of explicit photos is becoming a more common practice in teen culture. Digital technology and mobile apps like Snapchat make it fast and easy to instantly send and receive naked pics. Both boys and girls are actively participating, much to their parents’ chagrin. But why? It turns out that boys and girls may have different reasons for sexting. Certainly some girls voluntarily participate or even initiate. But other young women report being pressured into sending photos and grappling with challenging issues about reputation, body image, a “need" for compliments and attention or simply the desire to please. In this episode Marc and David sit down with three young women who are seniors in high school to hear their perspective on this controversial topic and learn about their personal experiences, both good and bad. 
28/02/1952m 5s

Teen Dating in the Digital Age

When our kids start dating, it opens up a whole new world of challenges for parents. It always has. But today teen romance comes with a unique set of digital challenges and information-age risks. Whether it’s your son or daughter, you want them to have a positive experience. To be supportive parents, we need to understand how our kids communicate, meet potential romantic interests, flirt, date, and even break up. On this episode, Marc and David chat with two teens, Haley and Ben, about the significant role technology, apps, and social media play in their lives and their relationships. Produced by The Podglomerate.
14/02/1948m 43s

What Our Kids Post Online Matters, Maybe Forever

Social media and engaging online are part of being a kid today, but just one post, tweet or text can get a student suspended or expelled, ruin friendships, impact future job opportunities, or influence college admissions. Right or wrong, a single, split-second digital decision can damage a teen’s reputation and permanently impact a child’s digital footprint. This is a lot of pressure for an adolescent, who is just trying to navigate the high school years and all that goes with it. As parents, we need to help our kids understand that their digital reputation is important and that what they do online matters. On this episode Marc and David explore the complex issues around online reputation with Diana Graber, Cofounder of Cyberwise, a leading online safety and digital literacy organization, and author of Raising Humans in a Digital World. Produced by The Podglomerate.
07/02/1936m 26s

Spying or Parenting - Do We Need to Respect Our Kids’ Digital Privacy?

As parents, we want to give our kids the freedom to explore, grow, make mistakes, and develop resilience. But we also want to keep our kids safe. Today’s children are digital natives and the Internet is their second home, teeing up new concerns and new ways to track or monitor their behavior. From parental controls to routine spot checks of devices and accounts, mom and dad can read texts, posts, Snaps, email, and more. Some argue this is spying, while others maintain this is parenting in the information age. How much privacy should parents give their kids as they navigate the online world and when is it appropriate to monitor their communications and track their digital footprints? On this episode Marc and David speak with two moms who have given this a lot of thought: Terrel McSweeny, former Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission and Nuala O'Connor, President and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology. Produced by The Podglomerate.
31/01/1941m 54s

Sandbox v. Xbox: The Role of Digital Play

Digital play makes our kids’ childhood drastically different than our own. Many parents are concerned about the potential impact of today’s high-tech electronic gaming and graphic digital content on their kids. Are the fears justified? Many experts say yes. Others disagree, pointing out that video games give our kids’ brains a workout as players solve problems, concentrate and communicate. Either way, kids love gaming and digital play is here to stay. So what do parents really need to care about? And how can they help their kids play wisely and get the best out of their online activities? Marc and David sit down with Jordan Shapiro, academic, journalist, and author of The New Childhood, and discuss his optimistic view of the relationship between kids and digital tech. Produced by The Podglomerate.
24/01/1942m 24s

Teen Sexting – Flipping Out Is Not the Answer

Teen sexting is happening, whether we like it or not. In some circumstances, this may be innocent behavior between two teens, adolescents just being adolescents. But in other cases, there can be serious consequences. As uncomfortable as it may be, parents need to be prepared to navigate the myriad issues that may surface when our kids send, trade and collect sexually-explicit selfies. Marc and David sit down with leading expert and journalist Anne Collier to explore the phenomena of teen sexting and provide parents with practical advice and guidance beyond “don’t flip out!” This episode follows Marc and David's interviews with high school students about sexting in episode 8. Produced by The Podglomerate.
17/01/1946m 46s

Is sexting a "normal" part of growing up digital?

When it comes to sexting, most parents think, "Not my kid." But multiple studies and anecdotal evidence indicate that's not the case. Handing an Internet-connected camera (a smartphone) to an adolescent — who is wired to ignore consequences, obsess over popularity, and explore sexuality — means you should assume he or she will be exposed to sexting almost immediately (if not actively participate). Marc and David sit down with a high school freshman and senior, who explain that teen sexting is shockingly widespread, and viewed as a common entry point for 21st century romance. Produced by The Podglomerate.
10/01/1950m 18s

How to Be a Digital Role Model for Your Kids

How do our own digital habits affect our kids' relationship with tech? Checking notifications at dinner and going to sleep with your phone may be setting norms you're not even aware of. Marc and David chat with Stephen Balkam, founder and CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute ( about how modeling good digital behavior is equally important as the conversations we have with our kids about tech. Balkam shares his list of bad tech habits all parents should break in 2019. Produced by The Podglomerate.
03/01/1942m 33s

The Magical Age of 13.

Privacy law in the U.S. has one clear line: Treat everyone 12 and under as kids, and everyone 13 and older as adults -- at least when it comes to the online world. The core privacy law around kids using digital services was written in 1998 when the Internet was very different. It's been updated once, but the protections for kids are still limited and the rules are confusing. How did we get here? And what do we need to re-think when it comes to the safety and privacy of teens on the modern, more mobile Internet? Marc and David sit down with Phyllis Marcus, a leading expert in privacy, advertising, and digital tech issues as they relate to children. She's also the mom of three, who gets our frustrations. Produced by The Podglomerate.
20/12/1853m 9s

The Real World Consequences of Cyberbullying

Bullying has always been part of growing up, but the 24/7, "always on" digital world has transformed where, when, and how it occurs. Online harassment can follow kids home and infiltrate their safe spaces. It even comes into bed with them at night, via smartphones and tablets. Marc and David speak with Peter, a student who endured severe and persistent online bullying in high school, which triggered a mental health crisis for him. Peter's story is a powerful lesson for parents and teens about this complex and difficult issue. Note, this episode contains sensitive subject matter and language that may not be suitable for children. Produced by The Podglomerate.
13/12/1847m 42s

HOOKED: How Peer Pressure Is Baked Into Social Apps

Silicon Valley and Wall Street might call it “engagement.” As parents, we might call it, “getting hooked.” Social media optimizes our kids' conversations for maximum profit. There's an art to it, and nothing is accidental. Marc and David sit down with Golden Krishna, a designer at Google and the author of The Best Interface Is No Interface, to talk about the tech tools developers use to make it difficult for our teens to put down their phones or log off social media, even for short periods of time. Produced by The Podglomerate.
06/12/1837m 25s

What's Your Tech Parenting Style?

Giving kids the freedom to explore, push boundaries, and make mistakes – while still keeping them safe – is a parenting challenge as old as time. But the stakes get especially high –and complicated – when those mistakes are happening on the Internet. Are you a strict parent with unyielding rules about screen time? Are you more hands-off when it comes to trusting your kids with tech? A lot of this depends on your kids and your values. This week, Marc and David talk with two mothers – Adaeze Enekwechi and Lael Bellamy – who have very different parenting styles when it comes to technology, but have more in common than you may think. Produced by The Podglomerate.
29/11/1843m 54s

Screen Time and the Quest for a Healthy Digital Lifestyle

Our kids (and many adults, too) are spending an unprecedented amount of time in front of screens. How much is too much? Is all screen time created equal? Marc and David discuss the addictive power of screens, "active" vs. "passive" consumption of media, and how parents can find balance. They sit down with Jenn Reid, a mom of three boys, about using screens as currency, and crossing a social media "point of no return" with her 13-year-old son. Produced by The Podglomerate
22/11/1838m 53s

The Internet Through Our Kids' Eyes

If we want our kids to have a positive relationship with digital technology, we need to understand the teenage mind, and what social media means to adolescents. Kids are wired to push boundaries and make mistakes, and this generation gets to do that in front of the entire world, via smartphone. Marc and David discuss the wonders and limitations of the adolescent psyche, and talk with Athena, a 17-year-old high school senior, about FOMO, her attempt to quit her phone, and growing up with a 24/7 digital social life. Produced by The Podglomerate.
15/11/1843m 40s

Introducing Their Own Devices

No matter how tech savvy you are, your kids likely have you beat. Digital natives see the world in a fundamentally different way than all previous generations. This makes 21st century parenting an unprecedented challenge. Join Marc Groman, an Obama White House tech and privacy adviser, and David Reitman, an adolescent medical doctor, for candid discussions about screen time, social media addiction, sexting, privacy, and online gaming. Marc and David aren't just experts — they’re also married, and raising a teenage son of their own. Produced by The Podglomerate.
02/11/181m 13s
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