Social Networking and Kids: Do they mix?
In our most recent weekly school newsletter, it was shared that a growing number of elementary students have Facebook accounts, even if Facebook is not to be used by children under the age of 13. From the Common Sense Media website: "73% of 12- to 17-year olds have at least one social networking profile". Youth have access to the internet in libraries, on phones, or on other mobile devices.
When we received an email announcing big money for Pixy Kids, a social media platform for kids age 6-12 and their parents, I immediately felt conflicted. Actually, I might have said outloud: "Hell, no."
My kids went through a stage where they loved the stuffed toy line Webkinz. Toys came with a name and code that would give them an identity online, where they could build/decorate a house (a la Sim City, it seemed to my), maybe play games to earn some Web Currency, use the funds to buy decor for the house, or what not. It wasn't for a while that I realized that there was also a chat-room feature of the Webkinz website. When I realized that, we stopped allowing use of the computer to get on Webkinz.
What role does social medial play for our kids? Any? None? Some? Sure, many of us mamas & papas use Facebok, but should our kids have access to a similar platfrom, an age-appropriate Facebook? Like Pixy Kids?