Social media for kids is a fun way to interact, share and play games with their friends. While you might be concerned about the potential perils of social media for kids, it can be equally detrimental should you not allow your child the use of social networking.
The important thing to keep in mind when it comes to social media for kids is to make sure you, as a parent, are aware of the games, sites and people your child is involved in, no matter how old they are. It is also a good idea to know all their passwords to their accounts. Your children will argue you are invading their privacy, but let’s face it, their privacy is not nearly as important as their safety.
Below are reviews of a few social media sites for kids
Launched on the 1st of January 2011 by brothers Joshua and Zachary Swauger aged 10 and 12, it was set up after their mother forbade them from using Facebook or any other kind of social media. The two brothers are already at the head of a large and growing brand, the Jackie Fame brand, and their products include shoes, shirts, watches and athletic equipment, to name a few.
Jackie Fame is set up specifically for children and is monitored by parents. Every upload or post is checked out by parent administrators, and the site automatically prohibits over 3 600 obscene and bullying-related words. Similar to Facebook, they can post photos of themselves and there is also a section for music videos and music downloads, as well as an online music player that loads as the site does.
There is also a chance for members to enter contests and win prizes such as customized shoes and gift cards.
The Fame brand’s mission is to give people the power to share, connect and live every day. They also vow to make a positive difference in the lives of their members, using the knowledge and relationships that are formed on their network for the good of all the members and their families.
The brothers have vowed to donate a percentage of the proceeds generated by their brand to charitable organizations that help children, like the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Special Olympics and St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Togetherville was started by parent Mandeep Singh Dhillon. While living on assignment in India, he realized his kids needed a safe way of connecting with their friends and family back home. As a dad, Mandeep wanted to make sure his kids were safe, but he also wanted them to learn how to be productive and responsible online. He therefore developed Togetherville, assembling some of the best minds in child development, social networking and technology, including graduates of Stanford University’s Learning, Design and Technology Program.
Togetherville is an online community for families where parents create safe online neighborhoods for their children to play and connect with real – life friends and family they already know. It gives the parent complete control over their kids as the neighborhoods are built from your own social network, disabling anyone anonymous or unknown being added or invited.
Togetherville works in a manner similar to adult social network sites but in a safe, kid-appropriate way. Each neighborhood is built around each specific child and remains closed to outsiders. Kids have their own profile pages, complete with photos they can upload. They can also play games and brainteasers, watch videos, create artwork, send and receive gifts and comment on their friends’ activities.
As a parent, you will sign in using your Facebook login, and Togetherville will automatically find your Facebook friends along with their children who already have a Togetherville account. You and your child then together build your child’s neighbourhood. You will have your own login page and can easily access your child’s profile at any time, from any location.
What’s What was started by parent Vincent Cannistraro after attending an internet safety seminar at his children’s school. It is probably one of the safest and most secure social media site for kids. You have to submit your credit card information to verify your identity and three webcam shots of your child for the site’s records.
Children need to have access to a web-cam in order to login.The “MeKey” facial recognition log – in is a new method unique to this site. There are two steps to ensure the MeKey login is secure. Firstly, the webcam – related facial recognition and secondly, a human who check the images each time the child logs on.
While kids are free to make friends with people they do not know, they can’t make friends with other children who are not in their age group, same grade, or one below or above theirs, without parental permission. Similar to most social media for children, they can send messages, create groups, make friends and view their friends’ profiles. You can however, edit or delete your child’s profile at any time and everything posted on the site is monitored. What’s What has a firm stance on cyber bullying and repeat offenders will be blocked from entering the site. At the time of this review, membership fees were $3.95 per month or $29.95 per year.
Scuttle Pad was created by Chad Perry who spent 9 months learning how children use Facebook status’ and creating a similar, safer social media site for kids which is safe and secure. It is aimed at children between the ages of 6 – 11 and creates a fun use of social media for kids. Similar to other online media sites for kids, kids have to submit their date of birthday, favorite color and parents e-mail address. What differentiates this site from the other is that all comments must be composed within a framework. This framework consists of “I’m click click click” with each click leading to a pre-defined wordlist for kids to choose from. This feature can, however, be a little restricting and while it will be fun for a young child, older kids may find it somewhat dull. Uploaded photos are first approved by Scuttle Pad, and only first names are used on this site.
Kids are growing up in a world that requires and demands a whole new set of skills in order to become responsible digital citizens. Social media for kids is a way for them not only to develop their computer skills, but also to help them use technology to connect with the important people in their lives – safely and responsibly. It is your responsibility as a parent to ensure the online safety of your child.