Thanks to all the rage surrounding social networks, everyone wants to be on them lest they be considered ‘uncool’. Kids too want to use social networks with the only hindrance being that sites like Facebook have a restriction on the minimum age for sign-up. Enter Grom Social, a social network for kids. While there does seem to be an antithesis at work there – social network and kids – for Zach, its founder, Grom Social happened to fulfil his need to be on a social network.
Go to Gromsocial.com and you’re immediately taken in by all the colours, and you know you’re inside Zach’s world. You can spot sections such as Gaming, Health & Fitness, School Help, Entertainment, Action Sports and Sports.
The kiddy social network
For the ones curious, Zach presents the story of the beginning of Grom Social in a dedicated section on the site. Zach admits that Grom Social for him ''took the place of the popular social networking site''. He narrates that his father was never really with him on the idea of joining popular social networks, wherein kids are exposed to adult content. While all of Zach's friends had an account on the site, his father stopped him saying he was too young, or it was not safe. ''He worried because there was no way for him to see what I was doing or who I was talking to,'' he adds.
When Zach turned 11, and asked his dad whether he could join the social network, he got no response. His friend, Erika then told him that with a setting on a social networking site he could keep his profile private and safe. He then got the go ahead from his father. Soon, Zach found himself addicted to it. ''I had it for about a week, and I was addicted. I spent all my time on the computer chatting with friends. Then, I made mistakes. One of my adult friends cursed and posted something inappropriate, and I cursed back.'' Soon, Zach's dad found out, leading Zach to deactivate his account.
He then went on looking for social network for kids that was safe and cool. He did not find anything that interested him, and that got him thinking. He thought of creating a social networking place for kids.
He added a profanity filter to it and also did not allow adults to join unless they were friends or family. ''Adults need to be approved by the Grom Social member and the parent,'' he added. What's more, there's a mobile app for Android, iOS and BlackBerry users.
Recently, we reported about a father-daughter duo signing a Facebook Deactivation Agreement, to get the teenage daughter to stay completely off the social network for a period of five months. The catch? She'd be paid $200 upon successful completion.
Paul Baier, VP Sustainability Consulting and Research at Groom Energy Solutions, shared on his blog Practical Sustainability, a photo of the agreement with his 14-year old daughter, wherein she has stated clearly that her Facebook account would be suspended from 2.4.2013 to 6.26.2013. If she is successful, her dad would pay her $50 in April and $150 in June. The agreement goes on to state that Paul Baier will have access to her Facebook account to change the password and to deactivate the account. This is to prevent her from reactivating her account in the future.