Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Kids’ online use: Town Hall talk will offer a different perspective

Author Richard Culatta goes beyond the safety warnings, finds potential for good.

Are you saying any of this about your kids’ online use?

“You’re spending too much time staring at your phone.”

“There are bullies and predators online, so be careful.”

“That website/app/game is not appropriate for your age.”

Sound familiar?

We spend so much time worrying about our kids’ online use (and with good reason), we may not be seeing the potential for good in those devices and connections they love so much.

Richard Culatta has been thinking about that a lot. He’ll share his perspective with parents in a virtual presentation sponsored by Town Hall Seattle and Seattle’s Child.

“Digital for Good: Raising Kids to Thrive in an Online World” is the title of Culatta’s new book and the theme for the talk. It’s at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4, and here’s how to join in.

Clinical psychologist Margie Morris will interview Culatta. Her work focuses on helping people use technology to support wellbeing. In addition, she is an affiliate faculty member at the University of Washington and a consultant. Morris is also the author of “Left to Our Own Devices: Outsmarting Smart Technology to Reclaim Our Relationships, Health and Focus.”

Richard Culatta on kids’ online use:

Culatta described his work in a recent post on Medium:

“When it comes to creating a healthy digital culture, we need to be talking about using technology for good purposes in addition to being safe while we’re doing it.

“Fortunately, in my research I also uncovered some really great practical strategies to help us find digital balance in our homes and prepare our kids to be better humans in a virtual world. These strategies are all shared in the book. They include topics like:

  • Recognizing digital dysfunction
  • Helping kids choose the best online activities
  • Setting reasonable expectations for device use
  • Finding the right balance between digital and physical activities
  • Keeping stay safe and create safe spaces for others online
  • Learning to spot false information online

The description of Culatta’s book on Amazon reads, in part: “He offers a refreshingly positive framework for preparing kids to be successful in a digital world — one that encourages them to use technology proactively and productively … ”

The Oct. 4 event is part of Town Hall’s Arts & Culture series. Although Town Hall has resumed some in-person and hybrid events, this one is entirely virtual. In addition, anyone 22 and under can get free access to Town Hall programming.

More on kids and technology:

Perspective: How to handle screen-time meltdowns

10 tips to help your kids develop healthy screen-time habits

About the Author

Julie Hanson

Julie Hanson is the website editor for Seattle's Child. She is a longtime journalist, South King County resident and mom to a 13-year-old girl.