The Fatherly Podcast, Episode 27: Parenting in a World of Screens

Is the Internet doing a good job raising our kids?

Are you reading this on a screen? Yes. The answer is yes, you are. Is your kid watching you read this on a screen? Maybe. It depends if they’re looking at a screen of their own. Screens rule us. Most of the world unfolds online. It sometimes seems like social media is the only media and only social interaction we have. It’s a lot for a dad to manage for himself, much less for his kids.

In this week’s episode, Joshua David Stein and co-host Jason Gay try to figure out what good parenting looks like in a hyper-connected world. They talk to Alex Goldman, lovable internet guru (not a formal title), father of two young children, and host of everyone’s favorite podcast, Reply All, about raising children in the era of the internet. Unsurprisingly, it’s not just about their screen time but about our relationship with technology, too. “I’m aware of the seduction,” says Goldman. “When I need a break from my son, I’m like, ‘Hey, watch Curious George!’ and he’s gone for an hour.”

They talk trolls. (“I just always reply, ‘Actually, it’s awesome!’” says Goldman.) They talk about posting pictures of your children on social media and how to resolve the fights you and your partner will inevitably have about it, and they talk about whether and when to expose kids to the glowing world of digital displays. They also find out that the internet might actually be OK. “It does feel pretty gross right now,” admits Goldman, “but I don’t think technology is terrible.”