Parents' Guide to

Childhood 2.0

By John Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Docu about kids and technology has violence, sex.

Movie NR 2020 88 minutes
Childhood 2.0 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+

Great with Caution

This was a great movie. Wonderful information for parents and adults who care for children. I watched this with a 12 year old and I think it was a little too much for them. There is a long section of the movie discussing porn, which can be a great conversation starter but can also be a bit too much for tweens. The end of the movie discussing suicide and violence in the media can be extremely heavy and difficult for a young tween to understand.

This title has:

Educational value
age 12+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Lots of information in this documentary feels crucial for parents to know. However, some aspects of Childhood 2.0 feel overwrought and frantic. While the film is effective, its delivery of content and information feels like it was crafted for the very kids and teens with short attention spans the film complains about. The film cuts so often and quickly to its next bit, it can get dizzying. If a group of kids are being interviewed about dating behavior in their schools, for example, know that the film will cut away to someone else or some other bit within seconds. Further, Childhood 2.0 takes pains to establish that the "good old days" were "better" for kids because they played outside and had longer attention spans, etc., clearly not aware of the racist connotations to phrases like that.

When asked, kids and teens also suggest that smartphones and social media dominate their lives so much because of the fear they have of not using them, the fear of missing out or not being a part of what's going on (and kids will make fun of other kids who don't have smartphones or use social media), and the fear of not being seen as normal. For instance, according to all the kids and teens who appear in the documentary, girls face immense pressure to send nudes to boys because of the fear they have about what would happen if they don't. Thus, after the film argues kids these days don't know how to "connect" with people (a little vague), use drugs more (all kids?), and get anxious and depressed more (terrifyingly, this one seems incontrovertibly true), the entire second half turns into an exploration of how pornography, sexual activity, and sexual pressure are all much more prominent in the daily lives of kids and teens than ever before. Ultimately, the film succeeds in using fear to convince parents that kids and teens use smartphones and social media and the internet because of the fear they have of not using them.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate