Social Network for Kids
Children are sponges for information. They suck it up and can regurgitate it on demand, but most will not be able to process the data they ingest without guidance. Although many parents and teachers can attest to the technological superiority of their children and students, being able to apply that technology in meaningful ways is another issue entirely.
For Mandeep Singh Dhillon, this was apparently very important. He wanted his son, Zoraver, to understand how to use social networking sites safely and responsibly. What ensued was the creation of an entirely new social network specifically for kids.
Complete with pictures of smiling children and a creepy name, Togetherville, parents control their children’s usage of the site. Before all of you teenagers storm out of the house to go hunt down Mr. Dhillon, it should be noted that the site is designed for ages six to ten.
The way it works is that parents sign their children up through Facebook, apparently creating virtual play dates with their own friends’ children. The children can then play games, make art projects, and engage in other scripted activities, all under their parents’ watchful eyes.
Dhillon has recruited financial investors for this project as well as consultants from the Family Online Safety Institute. Will that make the site a success? It is difficult to predict at this point. But one thing is clear, children are eager to get online. Providing them with some type of structured virtual environment may be exactly what parents want.