One of my daughters recently asked me if she could join Facebook.
I didn't even have to bat an eyelash to let out an emphatic "ABSOLUTELY NOT!" You'd think she had asked me if she could get a tattoo of Zac Efron on her face.
I've heard the horror stories and seen enough 20/20 and Dateline segments on the dangers of social media sites for young girls to know that this was not a circle I was ready for my daughter to intersect, at least at this young age. You have to be at least 13 to join the online Facebook community, but reports show that more than 850,000 of today's tech-savvy children ages 8 to 12 are illegally using sites like Facebook & MySpace, exposing them to risky communications with strangers & unsolicited ads.
So, how can the tween age group engage in the ‘social media’ craze while avoiding online predators and making moms rest easy? Hold onto your hats moms, because your social networking nightmares are over. The secret is out.
Today, Senario, a leading gaming and entertainment company will be releasing My Secret Circle - the first-ever secure social networking world designed for girls 8 to 12 and their Internet-cautious parents. This sweet new plug-‘n-play device will give girlfriends the ability to create completely private online communities with their pals, while avoiding the advertising and strangers lurking on other social networking sites.
Finally, my daughter can hang out online, chat, share pictures and play games— without giving her dear old Mom a coronary. Sounds like a little slice of heaven to me.
I was sent a demo kit and gave it to my two young female copywriters in the office to try out. Even though Gina and Samara are both well over the age of the intended demographic, in a matter of minutes they were giggling and chatting away, creating Designer Diva avatars, passing notes to each other and living it up, middle school style. A new secret friendship seemed to have blossomed. I was actually a little jealous. Here's what they had to say:
If I was 12 I would think this is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. How it works is you have a secret code that you can print out and give to your friends in person. That is the only way they can find you. There is no way to search users and none of the information is stored anywhere on the internet. No one can find it or hack it and get kids information. Me and Samara both plugged one into our computer and since we exchanged codes, we are the only two people that can talk to each other. I can IM her, exchange photos, even write blog entries and do anything else I would do on a regular website, except we aren’t on a website. If I was 12 and had 5 friends who had one, I would love it.
The size of a tube of lipstick and more fun than a dozen laps around the roller rink, My Secret Circle makes me wish I had been born a decade or so earlier so I could use it to chat with my old pre-teen peeps in style. The mini flash drive is simply adorable and unlocks a whole new world for tweens designed just for them. Easy to use, you just plug it in your USB, generate your code and exchange with friends. I think it's ingenious. Facebook and MySpace can be creepy places at times even for me, and I'm an adult. MSC offers most of the same enjoyable Facebook features - sharing pics, notes, interests, minus the creepiness factor. I actually wish there was a Secret Circle for twenty and thirty somethings… My Secret Circle for Single gals.
The Single key pack is $19.99 and the BFF (Best Friends Forever) Double key pack is only $29.99, and since the fun of My Secret Circle is joining with friends, it's a good idea for your daughter to go in on a BFF set with her bestest girlfriend, that way they're each joining the Secret Circle for only $15 each (also a great idea for siblings). Add on to the fun with a Voice Chat Headset for $14.99 that allows you to chat with your friends, voice-over-internet-style, just like Skype!
Revolutionizing the way young girls communicate, My Secret Circle is indeed the new Facebook Moms will love. Interested mothers can look forward to finding My Secret Circle accessories exclusively at Justice, and on the shelves at Target, Walmart and Toys R Us in the Fall of '09!
Now I can relax...at least until she starts dating.
| digg it!