TODAY

TODAY   |  November 05, 2013

Randi Zuckerberg on untangling your wired life

The sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, a former executive for the social media giant, talks about her new picture book, designed to help parents teach children the importance of unplugging. She also answers viewer questions related to kids growing up in the digital world.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> well, imagine not checking your facebook account today, not tweeting, turning off your phone completely. do you think you could do it? randi zuckerberg says it's a must if you want balance in your life.

>> as the mother of a 2-year-old and the sister of mark zuckerberg she writes about her decision to leave her job at facebook in her new book and also released a picture book all about getting kids to unplug to discover the fun they can have outside the digital world . yes, there is a world outside of the tablet.

>> shocking to hear.

>> great to see you.

>> i hear the graphics are great out there.

>> yes, it's incredible.

>> so life like. incredible.

>> jumps out at you sometimes.

>> the first thing i'm thinking as i read about you is you are one of the founding mother of facebook .

>> yes.

>> and you're asking people to get off facebook . what is your message here?

>> obviously facebook is still a huge part of my life. so many friends and relatives working there still. but i think for us we have become so connected 24/7 that almost tech is overwhelming and we need to rediscover the opportunity and fun and connection in it rather than letting it take over our lives.

>> so you're saying put it away for a little bit in order to achieve balance in your life.

>> that's right. there's a few things people can do. i talk about taking a digital detox on the weekends. i talk about not bringing phones into the bedroom to -- what that can do and just the importance of setting a good example for our children.

>> but realistically with our lives these days can you separate from your phone? we have work obligations, you have work obligations. people want answers quickly. it's nice to talk about on paper but can you really pull it off?

>> it's definitely hard. for me, sometimes, if i don't have my phone in my hand i feel jittery. i feel uncomfortable like i'm missing a limb.

>> yeah.

>> but i have found that if you -- the more you unplug and the more respect your own time the more other people start to respect your time too.

>> you talk about your decision to leave facebook . this happened during the election cycle in 2011 . you had just hosted a big facebook town hall meeting with president obama and at that moment you told your brother mark i think it's time to leave . why?

>> i had such an amazing time working at facebook . i had been there for six years working around the clock. i was about nine months pregnant. we had just hosted president obama for a town hall and i just figured, you know, i always firmly believe in going out when you're at the top and hosting the president on a project that i had created during a hack-a-thon at facebook that's the mic drop moment. i'm out.

>> speaking of, let's walk to the orange room .

>> watch your step. we have a few questions from our viewers coming in on twitter and a little company you may have heard of called facebook . let's take a look at what we've got.

>> all right. lots of viewers with lots of questions.

>> fantastic.

>> here's the question, is there any benefit for a 4 to 6-year-old kid using mobile devices or pcs? can they just stay kids for now?

>> that's a great question. i think there's a benefit. i'm definitely not advocating a complete disconnect for children. you want them to be on par with their peers when they get to school. and also there's great apps out there that enrich the mind and creativity. as long as you're using it for that purpose instead of just as a babysitter, you're in good shape.

>> even killing the angry birds, there's benefit there.

>> hand eye coordination.

>> whatever you tell yourself natalie.

>> exactly.

>> that's what i'm going for.

>> here's the facebook question from jennifer, should parents follow the same rules as kids such as no devices at the breakfast or dinner table.

>> this is a great question. i think kids take example from their parents and we can't be talking to our kids saying put your phones away and then we're out there text messaging and having the conversation. so i think it's really important to put that phone away and set a good example.

>> it's good to have like a certain time of day , i think the dinner table is the perfect example where you sit around as a family and you have a real conversation.

>> that's right. who knew real conversations -- people eye contact . like it's a new thing.

>> i don't think a lot of them know how to make eye contact .

>> let's go to tara, how much dot com time do you allow?

>> for me i try to skew on the side of life. i want him to get outside and play with dirt and do all of those things. you know, of course when we're on an airplane flight or out to dinner all the rules sometimes go out the dinner. but for me i think it's about setting limits for myself than setting limits for him because he's taking his queues from my behavior.

>> this is important information and fascinating coming from someone that helped start the digital revolution .