Zuckerberg Irony Inferno

dotKeith Hefner penning a book on feminism? A Mexican drug cartel publishing one on keeping fit? Nope. Just can’t seem to find another scenario as ironic as the one of a children’s book touting the benefits of unplugging from electronic devices… written by the sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Apparently Randi Zuckerberg has made it something of a mission to urge adults, and now children, to exercise some mindful restraint when online lest they completely become 21st century lotus eaters.

What makes “Dot”, her children’s book, so interesting is all the subtext we don’t see in its pages. Here’s a brief explanation of the book from the author’s blog:

Dot loves technology. A LOT. She’s obsessed with her devices (sound familiar?), but with a little push, she’s reminded that life’s a little bit richer when you look up from the screen.

As I watch my two-year-old begin to discover technology, I feel certain that this is an important message to share with a younger audience.

Granted the book’s target audience of crumb-crunchers isn’t known for its appreciation of irony, but then that audience isn’t the one that typically pays out its hard-earned dosh for children’s books in the first place.

So we get a nice little chuckle about who the author’s brother is while teaching little kids that mommy’s iPad can quickly become her master if she’s not careful – everybody wins. Everybody, that is, except for the book’s British illustrator, Joe Berger, whose sweet illustrations for “Dot” are universally ignored because he’s being neither subversive nor ironic, and no one knows who his siblings might be.


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