I frequently check out the “new cool” whatever. Yes, I tend to see something and *consider* downloading it. But rarely, and I mean realllly rarely to I actually read the full “terms of service” legal jargon re-repeating itself in 12 paragraphs in 4 point type.
However, I just ran across a banner for a new fun “thing” being provided by smileyCentral.com… Zwinky. So I clicked.. looks fun, looks entertaining – which means I’ll be bombarded with “mom can I download it” within mere weeks.
A Zwinky is a “virtual you”, a “tiny me”.. an avatar of sorts. Great little characters one can build themselves and then post all over the place. Neat. I used to doodle little me on my knee.. wow times have changed.
Now, I’m no insider techie. I don’t know what the zwinky software *does*. I don’t know how it does *it*. I could maybe find out if I wanted to dig, but I don’t need to. I DO know anything ever given away for free is NOT just a freebie for fun. There’s always a reason, a purpose and a goal.
I started to check out the terms of service whatever info, see if i could figure out the point. Now, correct me if I am mis-remembering. If I were under 13, I wouldn’t know to read a thing. It I were between 13 and 18, I wouldn’t care about a damn thing to read it.
Yet for this neat new download the service remarks say…
“If you are not yet 13, do not download the MyWebSearch toolbar. By using the Toolbar, you represent and warrant that you have the right, authority and capacity to enter into this agreement and to abide by all the terms and…”
and then “customer concerns” is at the very very very very bottom.. how considerate.
Bonus, seriously, go through the parent tips WITH your child, if you want to allow them to extra download fun.
At Least the above quotes are at the top, so maybe we can assume that maybe 1% of the kids checking it out will see something of use to them.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve always believed very child is born brilliant, and we are the ones that make them dumb. However, they’re also impatient, love fun and fun “thingies”, and at various life stages – uninterested in batting a single lash towards authority figures. Rules are ment to be broken… remember?
I know, the obvious arguement is “you should monitor what your kids are doing online”. Yes, you should. My children sit less than 3 yards from me when they are on the computer. Am I seeing every single click? I don’t see every time they pick their nose either, does that mean I’m not paying attention to their good hygeine?
Why is it there are kid friendly games and sites all over the place, yet there is no true kid friendly environment… advertising with a purpose other than to put some CEO’s kids through college?
Why aren’t there regulations for how sites conduct themselves and what they offer depending on their target demographic?
It can’t entirely be up to the parent/guardian. Have you not walked through Walmart with a 6 year old? Or the cereal with a 3 year old? Kids just like neat stuff, and if its in their view, they *HAVE* to have it (most of them, most of the time – not to generalize or anything).
There is hope… oh ye parents of the world. You know those over priced fruity computers with the funny TV commercials? Yes…. you know, APPLE. Well, maybe of the games and extra add-on do-dads kids can download, but don’t “need” to.. don’t work with a mac (for now). So HA! So my extra 2 cents for the day is, Get a mac, save a brain cell. 😀
Enough from me for today… I have plenty to go on and on and on about, and then you’ll miss lunch. Now we can’t be super heros, without eatting, now can we?
— sorry, no references today, I only found “hey look at cool zwinkies” – no real infos. Hmm Zwinkies, twinkies.. now I need a snack.
[tags]zwinky, toolbars, avatars, kids[/tags]