Who would you expect might write a children’s book warning that Facebook is a waste of time and that kids would be better off going outside to play? J.K. Rowling? Kanye West? Stephen Colbert?
How about Mark Zuckerberg’s sister?
Slate reports on the rather astounding news that the Facebook founder’s sister, Randi Zuckerberg, has indeed penned a book, titled Dot, which comes with the requisite kids’ book moral. Except in this instance the moral is that web-surfing, and by natural association social media, should pretty much be avoided at all costs.
To promote the book, Randi created a blog in which she notes that, “although technology is making our lives easier and helping keep us connected, many parents are worried about how to raise their children in this new digital era.”
Toward that end, the storyline of Dot employs illustrations by Joe Berger to tell the tale of a precious little girl who absolutely adores technology, and happily spends her days online surfing the Internet. Sound familiar?
To quote the book’s promotional pitch: “Dot knows a lot. She knows how to tap … to swipe … to share … and she pays little attention to anything else.”
As per every children’s book ever written, Dot receives an important lesson, which comes when she finally looks up from the screen. More accurately: “Dot sets off on an interactive adventure with the world surrounding her."
In other words, Dot goes outside.
As expected, there has already been some backlash over the fact that the book was written by Zuckerberg’s sibling.
New York magazine writer Kevin Roose suggests that Randi Zuckerberg writing a book about the perils of being online all the time is like “Mario Batali’s sister writing a low-carb cookbook.”
More to the point, this week’s release of Dot, which is already available on Amazon.com, is a bit awkwardly timed considering Facebook loosened its privacy rules for young people on the grounds “they want to be heard.”
Regardless of how well Dot sells, the book should make for some interesting discussion at the next Zuckerberg family gathering.