Thursday, February 24, 2011

Social Network for kids?? Good idea or bad idea?

According to Leena Rao at TechCrunch,

"Disney has just acquired Togetherville, a social network for kids 10 years of age or younger, we’ve confirmed with the company. Terms of the acquisition are not being disclosed at the moment.
Togetherville, which exited beta last year, mimics the experience of adult social networking sites, i.e. Facebook but in an age-appropriate and parent-monitored environment. Togetherville promises a safer, more secure environment, where parents can moderate who their children are connecting with. Parents approve each of their child’s friends, and can also connect with other parents using Facebook’s social graph.
Parents can easily interact with their kids in Togetherville, while kids have their very own social community and login to engage with friends, play games, watch videos, and create art. Children create “neighborhoods” from Facebook friends, and can connect through School Communities, which allows parents and kids connect with school friends without requiring the parents to be connected via Facebook."
Do you think this is a good idea or bad idea?  On one hand, kids this age shouldn't be spending all their time in front of a computer reading about what their friends are doing but should actually be out in person playing and socializing.  On the other hand, technology now makes it available for children to keep in touch with distant relatives and friends just like adults can with Facebook.  I personally wouldn't allow my child onto a site like this until they are older.  In the meantime actual play dates with other children and hanging out with family members will suffice.  
What are your thoughts about a social network for children?  Would you allow your child onto it?

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