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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REVIEW: The Princess and the Frog

The Princess and the Frog
Image via Wikipedia

The newest release from Disney, ‘The Princess and the Frog’, has apparently been a highly anticipated and hotly contested event. Forgive me for not getting bogged down in the debates and discussions surrounding the historical nature and controversial depiction of the characters for this film. Am I wrong for just wanting to enjoy a good family movie?

In my opinion, cartoon movies are classic ways to bring families together. A family may not sit down and eat dinner together, but a good old Disney cartoon, or any other family cartoon movie brings out the togetherness….and the popcorn!

At any rate, while looking online for other mothers who blog…I came across The Integrated Mother, who subsequently led me to an article at CNN.com. Both articles touched on the undertones of this new Disney movie.  While I agree that this is quite an occasion to make note of, I wouldn’t go so far as to demoralize the advancement with banter about frogs and cities. With that in mind…I am going to move forward to my thoughts on the movie.

Overall I thought the Princess and the Frog was fun and engaging.  The colors, the characters and the songs kept my little one engaged…as well as a number of her friends (we went on a toddler play-date).  I enjoyed the details in the story-line and I walked away with quite a few key messages:

1. The value of commitment

2. The value of relationships

3. Faith and believing

4. Hardwork and determination

5. Sensitivity to others (acceptance)

In life we encounter many things…trials & tribulations, along with joyous occasions.  We feel that success comes without compromise and though sometimes we want to take the easy way or the quickest route, we know that hard work and perseverance  truly helps us to achieve our goals and accompanying success.

I applaud Disney for demonstrating all those things in a single movie about an African-American girl who spends half the movie as a frog.  After all…success doesn’t have a face, and it looks different to different people.  What matters most is how you get there.  And that’s the message I want my kids to receive.

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