Common Sense Media Reveals the Media Innovations that Defined the Digital Decade for Kids and Families

Best- and worst-of lists highlight the challenges parents face in a 24/7 media world

Common Sense Media
Friday, December 18, 2009

San Francisco, CA – Common Sense Media, the nation's leading resource on media for kids and parents, today released "The Digital Decade," a comprehensive set of lists that look back at the things that rocked our kids' world in the last 10 years – for better or worse.

From cell phones to social networking, the last 10 years have introduced the world to incredible media innovations that have put the power of instant, massive connection and creation into the hands of kids everywhere. As a result, parents now deal with new, previously unthinkable challenges like sexting, cheating using cell phones, and cyberbullying.

"Innovations in the media and entertainment space have forever changed childhood and parenting," said James P. Steyer, CEO and Founder of Common Sense Media. "Some of the innovations have been great, some not so great, but they all have one thing in common –– they have revolutionized how kids communicate, create, learn, and play. As parents look back and reflect on how much has changed over the last decade, it's important to remember that we are still just beginning to realize what this media landscape means for families – but that there are great tools and information to help manage our kids' 24/7 media lives."

The Digital Decade lists (in no particular order) are:

The 10 Things that Forever Changed Childhood

  1. Google
  2. Harry Potter
  3. Facebook
  4. Nintendo Wii
  5. YouTube
  6. American Idol
  7. Wikipedia
  8. Cell phones
  9. TiVo
  10. iTunes

The 10 Things We Could Have Lived Without

  1. Grand Theft Auto
  2. Digital cheating
  3. Erectile dysfunction ads
  4. The Bathroom Wall Facebook app
  5. Gossip Girl books
  6. Superbad
  7. World of Warcraft
  8. The Celebutantes (Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan)
  9. Webkinz
  10. Texting while driving

Common Sense Media's editors also made their expert picks of the top movies, TV shows, music, books, games, and Websites of the last 10 years – a total of 240 selections broken down by age groups (preschool, ages 6-10, preteen, and teen) to help parents bring home the very best of the decade. To read all of the lists, and learn why each innovation made the cut, visit

About Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media is the nation's leading nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the impact of media and entertainment on kids and families. Common Sense Media provides trustworthy ratings and reviews of media, entertainment, and technology based on child development criteria created by leading national experts. For more information, visit

Press Contacts:
Marlene Saritzky
Vice President of Communications, Common Sense Media
415-553-6768 (direct)
415-713-1241 (cell)
[email protected]

Marisa Connolly
Communications Manager, Common Sense Media
415-553-6703 (direct)
617-699-4235 (cell)
[email protected]