Slaying Digital Dragons: Tips and Tools for Protecting Your Body, Brain, Psyche, and Thumbs from the Digital Dark Side

Alex J. Packer

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  • Ages: 13+
  • Pages: 408
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781631985966
  • Published: 2021


With respect, empathy, and wacky humor, Slaying Digital Dragons empowers teens to explore their screen scene; join the resistance against Big Tech’s manipulations and addictive algorithms; protect their body, brain, psyche, reputation, and relationships from the Digital Dark Side; and conduct a self-intervention (called an “App-endectomy”) to reset and optimize their digital lives.

Big Tech, social media, and omnipresent devices have commandeered people’s lives, realities, relationships, and cultures. It’s hard to think of a single human behavior, interest, passion, or goal; a single social, emotional, psychological, cognitive, physical, or practical need, that doesn’t have a digital doppelgänger.

The dark side of the digital world—internet addiction, trolling, false “news,” lies, divisiveness, conspiracy theories, cancel culture, obsessive FOMO—is an out-of-control “digital dragon” capable of undermining truth, decency, reality, civility, empathy, constructive discourse, and individual and societal well-being. Children and teens are under digital assault with potentially damaging consequences for their healthy emotional, social, and cognitive development.

But, armed with the knowledge, self-awareness, and tools for personal growth they’ll discover in Slaying Digital Dragons, teens can create a healthy screen scene by leading an examined life. Educating themselves. Staying alert. Exercising caution. Using “brand” sanitizer to create a digital trail of flowers, not turds. And by always remembering that the most powerful app is their brain.

Pamela Crooke, Chief Curriculum Officer, says

Slaying Digital Dragons is a powerful navigational tool for teens and young adults as they journey through the digital world. Using humor, engaging language, witty illustrations and common-sense examples, author Alex J Packer helps tech-loving teens protect themselves from the dangers of the digital world without making them unplug completely. This information rich book includes practical exercises to help digital fans “reflect, resist, and reset.” Parents, teachers, and therapists are likely to learn a few strategies to protect and slay their own digital dragons along the way.

About the Author

Alex J. Packer, Ph.D., is an educator, psychologist, and award-winning author of numerous books for parents and teenagers including How Rude! The Teen Guide to Good Manners, Proper Behavior, and Not Grossing People Out. Alex is sought after by the media for his provocative commentary on manners, child-rearing, and substance abuse prevention, and has led workshops and lectured widely across the United States and around the world. He received his Ph.D. in educational and developmental psychology from Boston College and his master’s degree in education from Harvard.

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