Kids and Online Social Networking?

Why didn’t someone create the “dislike” button?  This would be one of the opportunities where I would apply it.  A new social networking site geared toward children and their parents.  The basic premise of the site seems to be: parents sign their kids up via their personal Facebook accounts and select the children of their friends to become friends on this new site.  Then the parents, children and friends can play games, chat, or participate in other interactive activities on the site.  You can read more in the article – Togetherville: A Digital Training Ground for Young Geeks | GeekDad | Wired.com.

Call me old school, but what happened to good ol’ face to face communication?  I like sitting at the dinner table talking about our day, or what we look forward to over the upcoming weekend.  Furthermore, I am not ready for my oldest to have a Facebook account, let alone a mom sponsored/censored social networking site.  We can stick to socially networking with kids and their parents at birthday parties, sports games, and other outdoor activities.

Sound harsh?  I don’t think so. We have a plethora of electronic games and television shows to entertain our children.  They know when and where they can play games online.  Many have email accounts.  At what point do we really stop to think about the value of personal interaction and encourage our kids to thrive as personable human beings?  Of course I don’t think something like this will “take over the world”, I just err on the side of caution for those who think it is cute for kids to spend countless hours flipping between tv shows, computer games, online social networking, video games….and forget to pick up a bike, or skates, or participate in some type of outdoor activity (think Michelle Obama – Let’s Move).

Even more, this opens the door for a massive advertising opportunity.  Marketers love this stuff.  A captive audience of families….mothers, children – those with the largest purchasing capacity and potential – we would have a field day!! (remember I am a mom in marketing)

Can’t you see advertisers lining up to post ads and run contests for products and services that appeal to kids, and moms who have kids?  New snacks, games, hair wraps and silly bandz..oh my!

I take my work hat off in this instance, and reveal the badge of my heart; my family; and I want them to rest assured that I have their best interest in mind.  They may not appreciate it now, but I can wait for later.

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