Community Papers

Steve Dotto says parents can’t ignore social media trends

Steve Dotto says when kids today thinks their folks are idiots, they’ve got proof.  -
Steve Dotto says when kids today thinks their folks are idiots, they’ve got proof.
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Parents who scoff at Snapchat, ignore Instagram or turn their noses up at Twitter are running the risk of becoming irrelevant, says a tech guru who will speak at an upcoming conference for parents and educators in Richmond.

“The Internet is a place, it’s not a thing. It’s a place where an inordinate percentage of our population spends a lot of their lives,” said Steve Dotto in a phone interview Monday. “I consider that it’s our responsibility to understand it, even if we don’t find personal value.”

Dotto, the man behind a long running computer and technology show will be the keynote speaker at Richmond School District’s Learning and the Brain Conference Saturday, Jan. 25. Dotto’s talk, on “social saturation,” fits with the theme for the 15th annual event: understanding and connecting with our children.

Some parents reject new technology and “leave it to the kids,” said Dotto.

But it’s here to stay, and by ignoring social media trends, adults can’t provide leadership and moral guidance. That approach proves ignorance—and parents risk losing the respect of their kids.

“When I was a kid I thought all adults were idiots, but I had no proof. They were better at everything in life than I was. But when kids today thinks that their folks are idiots, they’ve got proof,” said the host of the weekly Dotto Tech radio show.

Simply put, understanding social media allows parents to know its pitfalls.

Dotto uses the mall as a metaphor. It’s not his favourite hangout, but he understands its culture and what his kids may find when they go there.

“I don’t like the mall, but I don’t belittle people who do like it, I don’t belittle the people who do work there. I don’t consider the mall to be irrelevant in our society. It’s part of it. Just like school is, just like the local sports teams are, it’s all part of our community.”

Learning and the Brain

•Saturday, Jan. 25 from 8:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at A.R. MacNeill Secondary School.

•Keynote address, workshops (in English and Chinese)

•Free admission; all Richmond parents, caregivers and educators are welcome

•Register by Jan. 20 at or by calling 604-668-6000, ext. 2943

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