Facebook has finally gone public and lawsuits have been launched about the
process, will the media frenzy about it subside? Attention is already being
paid to other social media sites – including those aimed at kids, tweens and
teens. With summer beginning and school out in the next couple of weeks, soon
your kids will be having more time on their hands. Are you concerned about how
they may be spending it?
to keep an eye on how and where their children are on the Internet, but the
kids seem to be one step – or click – ahead in their search for freedom. And
they're beginning younger and younger. While most don't have their own mobile
phones until they're teens, 15% of children under 11 now have them. Although
the age limit on Facebook is 13, many tweens have their own pages there. Kids
are using Viddy, a video-sharing app,
on their pages and they've learned to use sites such as Instagram, a photo-sharing app, to text each other.
As a parent,
you want to protect your children from online predators, bullies, inappropriate
advertising or their own naïve sharing of personal information. At the same
time you recognize that the Internet is a part of their social and academic
experience and you want them to learn how to use it responsibly. Now there are
educators attempting to do just that. Playground
is being developed by the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern
California to teach kids about Internet responsibility and privacy in addition
to how to create content.
blogged here before about on-line safety and supervision – you can check out
some of our tips for talking with your kids about the Internet. Of course you'll want to do your own homework before
you decide which websites you'll allow your kids to use, if any. The American Academy of Pediatrics gives
some suggestions for talking with them about time limits, your expectations for
their behavior and rules they need to follow.
If you want
to get a jump on the process, here's a look at some of the virtual sites where
your tweens may say they want to hang out this summer:
social media site KidzVuz, kids are
encouraged to make and share their own videos -reviewing books and movies as
well as food and clothes. They can't conduct private messaging and there is
careful monitoring of comments to keep them in the protective guidelines.
Everloop is a social media site just for
tweens where they can design their own pages, join groups that interest them, chat
and play games. There are safety controls built in and bullying or bad language
is not allowed by the monitors.
who are interested in fashion may spend time on FashionPlayte. They can design and then order these clothes for
themselves or their dolls on the site.
owned, established-site Club Penguin
has activities and games for younger children to play as well as the
opportunity to connect and chat with each other. With its embedded safety
controls, it doesn't allow them to share personal information or treat each
other with disrespect.
you have some more ideas about what's happening on-line for your tweens, you
can get back to planning how to get them away from the computer and outdoors
Labels: Facebook, Internet, kids, online, parenting, photo sharing, safety, social media, summer vacation, teens, tweens, video sharing