If you're a concerned parent, don't let the exposé-like title ("Tweens' Secret Lives Online") of Katherine Rosman's article in today's Wall Street Journal fool you--it's a perfect guide for anyone wanting to wean their precocious child off of Facebook. Of course, if you're that precocious child, you'll probably want to add Rosman's name to your burn book under "life ruiner" for making you enjoy your youth for a couple more years.
Rosman explores the underbelly of the Facebook fears (predators, bullying, etc.) and the businesses that have profited over that by producing kid-friendly social media sites. From a Disney's Club Penguin, a social media site which allows children to chat but are restricted in the words they use, to the cool-threatened Instagram (thanks Zuckerberg), Rosman highlights the best of the best G-rated social media sites for kids. And hey, there's even this (in case you were interested in rearing a mini Jeff Jarvis) :
"Digital media is a great thing for kids; even a 12-year-old can have a personal brand," says Stephanie Schwab, the founder of the Digital Family convention. Her 3-year-old uses an iPad every day. When Ms. Schwab recently wondered out loud what the weather was like, her son responded, "Ask Siri."
To read how far we've come from muzzling our modems and telling our parents that we were only in that inappropriate AOL chatroom by accident, head on over to The Wall Street Journal.
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