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Advance Praise

“Weinstein and James have nailed it! This book is a superb blend of research and real-life vignettes from teens.”

— Delaney Ruston, MD Filmmaker, "Screenagers"


What are adults missing

about teens and technology?

A lot. Drawing on perspectives from more than 3,500 teens, Harvard Project Zero researchers Emily Weinstein and Carrie James bring stories and data together for a powerful reframe of what teens are up against – and what teens need adults to understand.

Putting adults’ concerns alongside teens’ perspectives

lights a new path forward.


Adults are worried about teens and their screen time.

But so are teens.

Behind Their Screens shows adults how to ditch a superficial, “us-versus-them” focus on screen time. Instead, learning how to embrace an “us-and-them” approach helps build connection and  healthy tech habits.

Adults fear social media is causing depression.

But understanding both the good and the bad is essential. Teens’ social media experiences differ in key ways, and they aren’t all equally at risk.

Understanding how social media can become like “Comparison Quicksand” for some teens is crucial. Adults need to recognize when social media becomes a highlight reel, even as teens flock toward influencers who favor “casual,” “authentic,” and “real” sharing. 

Adults tell teens, “Just don’t sext!”

But this message misses the mark by a mile because it overlooks pressures and motives that are often more weighty.

When it comes to sexting culture, there is just so much that adults are missing, including crucial differences between wanted sexting, pressured sexting, and non-consensual forwarding. In Behind Their Screens, teens reveal what kinds of support they really need to protect themselves in an era of revealing pics.

Learn more about these topics - and teens’ experiences with friendship dynamics, activism, cancel culture, digital receipts, and more.


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