In this day and age, it’s never too early to start networking. However, as social network sites such as Facebook have age limitations (13 years of age and up), there are younger age groups that are left without a social network to call their own. Why would a six year old need to be able to participate in a social networking site you ask?
Arguably, just as a child must learn to socialize with other children, it’s important that children begin to understand how to interact with others online. As a result, several social networking sites designed specifically for children have been created. Below we’ll take you through a few of them, detailing most importantly their safety features.
This site is designed for children aged 6 to 13, and allows children to post updates, photo’s, engage in discussions and play games. Parental control and parental involvement is a major focus for this site as well. There is an annual fee of $3, but 50c is donated to charity.
- Both parent and child must register
- All content is monitored by parent’s account, including deleted content
This site is designed for children aged 6 to 12 and is based on the Moshi Monster characters with limited social networking features. Users can create their own pet monster and make friends through blogs, newsfeeds and pinboards.
- Parents must approve a child’s request to register for the site
- All messages and blog posts go through an approval process prior to going live on the site
This site is designed for children aged 6 to 14 and focuses on teaching children digital safety and other essential online skills through games. There is an annual fee of $3 per child.
- Trained educators moderate the site and utilize a filter system to block inappropriate content
- Members can earn badges by demonstrating certain skills, such as knowledge of online safety
So if you have a 9 year old that won’t stop asking you for permission to join Facebook, you now have several social networks that are age appropriate and much less risky. While these sites are set up for kids and their protection, please keep in mind that predators and bullies always find a way past even the strictest safety measures. It’s important that you establish your own form of parental control to keep an eye on your children’s online activities. Would you recommend these sites to your children?