Kids are having fewer and fewer experiences that are unmediated by corporations. Big business and big tech are training kids (and perhaps us all) to believe we need endless products to be fulfilled. Susan Linn, a psychologist, award-winning ventriloquist, advocate for children, and world-renowned expert on free play, walks us through a thoroughly researched examination of the ‘corporate takeover of childhood.’ She reveals the ways big tech and big business are working tirelessly to manipulate our kids’ attention and inclinations toward consuming as much as possible for as many years as possible. The message is that everything is for sale, and that you need the things that companies are selling in order to be happy. Linn urges us to examine our relationships with consumption and digital media, reminding us that we have the power to foster healthy boundaries for ourselves and our children. We can take back the reins and alter the course we are on, even if we have veered into the weeds.
Linn delivers a chilling and sobering survey of our current landscape while maintaining a completely blame-free message for parents who are also targets for these same marketers and conglomerates. She issues a call to every citizen to fight back against the lawmakers who enable big tech and corporate interests to prey on our children. Linn argues for more free play as an antidote to the noise–more time and space to freely imagine, make mistakes and discoveries with our hands, and interact with one another. The power to play, she argues, offers us the opportunity to experience healthy attachment, fulfillment, and fuel healthy development during the early years of life and beyond. A compelling and profoundly important book for all parents and educators.
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