How tweens behave online

Kid on iPad
In this photograph illustration, a 10-year-old boy uses an Apple iPad tablet computer on November 29, 2011 in Knutsford, United Kingdom.
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

With the rise of social media, it's harder than ever to keep an eye on a kid's activities online. Many parents limit their kids' access to sites like Facebook and try to monitor what their children do online. Now, sites like work to help parents stay involved with their tweens' online lives by creating kid-tested, mother-approved social media outlets.

We wanted to talk more about this topic after reading a Wall Street Journal piece earlier this month about these sites:

"As families grapple with how to use social media safely, many marketers are working to create social networks and other interactive applications for kids that parents will approve. Some go even further, seeing themselves as providing a crucial education in online literacy--"training wheels for social media," as Rebecca Levey of social-media site KidzVuz puts it.

The site was launched by two technologically active mothers in New York City. One co-founder, Ms. Levey, says the idea is create a safe place for children to learn how to communicate effectively and politely on a medium that will be key to their social, academic and economic lives."

Danah Boyd, senior researcher at Microsoft Research, will join The Daily Circuit Tuesday to talk about tweens online.

"We need to give kids the freedom to explore and experience things online that might actually help them," she said in The New York Times. "What scares me is that we don't want to look at the things that make us uncomfortable. So rather than see what teenagers are showing us online about bullying and suicide and the problems they're dealing with and using that information to help them, we're making ourselves blind to it."

Rebecca Levey, co-founder of, will also join the discussion.

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