The following is a Paid Review.
Todays worlds of cyberspace captures a lot of attention. Hi5, MySpace, Facebook gets the high schoolers and college kids involved with social networking. Whether we want to admit it or not places like There, Kaneva, Hipihi, and Second Life has much of the “older” crowd social networking… but what about the younger groups? What gets the attention of the 6 to 13 year olds?
I remember a time in my youth when I went to my Grandmother’s house which was way out in the country. It was a time when my mother visited with her brothers, and her parents. Of course the big event while there was “the” meal, at least through the eyes of a young boy. All the really fun things, like chasing the chickens would get me in trouble.
Usually after the excitement of first seeing Mamaw and Pawpaw thing turned boring quickly. The adults would gather in the living room talking about things I didn’t understand and chasing the chickens was a no no… what is a boy to do? If I was really lucky, Uncle Carl would bring his daughter Sherry with him. Believe it or not she always has something to play with that I hadn’t ever seen before. One of those days that sticks out in my memory is a day she brought paper dolls with her. They came in a book that looked like a magazine, and you had to cut out the “clothes,” but the dolls were made of cardboard.
I remember us sitting on the front bedroom floor turning those pages and wondering what that dress would look like on the cardboard doll. Then I remembered where I saw some scissors! I still remember sneaking out of the bedroom and into my grandmother’s Beauty Shop then slipping back into the bedroom.
Those dresses had to be cut out carefully, and we messed up the first dress we cut out. We didn’t understand that those white tabs were meant to be cut around so they could be folded and hold the dress on the doll. After a couple of tries we got the hang of it, and soon there were these little shreds of paper all over the bedroom floor and a stack of dresses, pants, and shirts which could be fit over the cardboard doll in an endless variety. We were having a pretty good time playing with these paper dolls, when my mother came into the room and saw all those tiny shreds of paper all around the room.
I was beginning to think fussing about the paper would settle down when my Grandmother asked what we used to cut those clothes out with. If you don’t know, let me tell you… Beauticians can get pretty picky about how their hair shears are used! But you know what? At the age of 5 or 6, we had a good time playing with those paper dolls even after all the trouble was factored in.
The world of technology has changed the world for high schoolers to adults. Why would/should it be any different for the really younger crowd? Technology has taken the scissors from the hands of six year olds cutting out clothes for dolls. Now a few mouse clicks and a child can dress a hand-drawn dress-up doll. And there are no tiny shreds of paper that takes forever to clean off the floor.
Cartoon Doll Emporium (CDE) is a youngster networking site which according to CDE caters to girls ages 7 to 14. When I first went to the site to investigate for this paid review… I thought it was terrible– until I realized I was looking at it through adult eyes. That is when I remembered the story above.
Our kids today see us sitting in front of the computer, either working or playing, for hours on end; why should we think they wouldn’t want to emulate us? It is a natural thing for a child to do, and each wants to be like mommy or daddy. The question is, at what age should we allow our children to begin using the computer? With the speed in which technology is advancing, can they ever start learning at to young an age to do something that will probably benefit them throughout their lives? So how do we safely introduce them to the computer and social networking?
Cartoon Doll Emporium claims to be a carefully monitored environment that employs real, 24-hour-per-day, 7-day-per-week moderators, as well as automated scripts to protect the children from inappropriate material or people. CDE has more than 600 hand-drawn dress-up dolls, as well as fantasy makers, scenery makers, room makers, and other dress up games. The site also contains quizzes, picture galleries, arcade games, music, and a chat forum where children can network and claims more than a billion hits a month on their site.
The only thing I saw to report negatively on was the fact there are a lot of google ads on the site. One google ad that I saw was from YourFortuneRevealed then there was the Match.com’s dating site Chemistry ad along with a vertical banner for perfectlover…. Seems like some of the advertising may be a little to much for such young minds…
How young is “too Young” to start social networking…. If you have a young child maybe you would like to check out webkinz.