As a thirtysomething parent of three who has lived in a world without cell phones (or an accessible Internet), I often feel overwhelmed by the enormity of choices my children now have to consume content and interact with others. Face-to-face bullying in the playground has evolved into also bullying in the digital space, giving potential predators better hiding places. But I’ve recently become aware of a smart phone app that teaches children to be responsible digital citizens while becoming acquainted with social media, with a positive spin (and full control by their parents).
Kudos&Co have launched a new social media platform created by executives from Pixar, Disney, Instagram, EA, Google and DreamWorks, who take the Instagram concept and make it accessible for the under-13 crowd. The app allows children to join common interest groups (sports, Legos, art, etc.) and share photos related to that specific interest area where friends will have the ability to like, comment or even draw on them.
To ensure the safety of its users, Kudos employs 24 hour moderators who review every single picture and comment that is posted to the app and promptly address anything that could be considered inappropriate or offensive. As an additional layer of protection, parents must approve their child’s use of the app before any posting can be done and are notified via email when any post by their child is made, or even when a pending friend request is sitting in the queue.
In a world where virtual mudslinging is commonplace and social media is too often used to project negative thoughts, it’s nice to see a company using technology to create a space where kids can still be kids, while empowering them to do something that will serve them well in life – connecting and being kind to others.