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Jennifer Leonard, Social Media Manager for Content Watch, is passionate about connecting with people – in person and via social media. She spends her days writing, tweeting, pinning and using as many hashtags she possibly can. #Goals #SocialLife #Hustle
July 24, 2012Net Nanny for Android 2.0
Feb 07, 2017
There’s a new social platform in town, but parents, you can rest easy. That’s usually the opposite reaction you expect to hear, especially when a social platform is targeted to the under 13 market but Lego Life is challenging this perception. This is one app that’s causing me to pause and reevaluate. Let me break it down for you… the good, the bad and the ugly.
What’s all the fuss
Touted as being a safe social platform for kids ranging in age from 5 to 13, Lego Life has done something no other brand has been able to do – appeal to kids AND their parents. Kids are a tough crowd. They can smell a trap a mile away and more often than not, can be more internet savvy than their parents. Lego Life is ultimately a community of pint-sized Lego hobbyists that are able to share their creations in an Instagram-like feed for comments & likes from other Lego enthusiasts.
1. Parental approval is needed in order to sign up for an account and the email must be verified. No ifs, ands or buts.
2. No selfies or human photos are permitted. Your avatar is built Lego by Lego with fun customization options, none of which have identifying features in real life. Uploaded content is monitored by a moderation team, so each image is vetted and approved before it goes live.
3. Even better, while commenting is encouraged, it’s not free-form. Meaning: kids cannot say anything they want. All comments are left using pre-approved emojis, in an effort to allow them expression while keeping any mean-spirited comments at bay.
4. Usernames are also generated without specifics, so you can rest assured that your child’s privacy remains intact. Note: Just call me NurseNosyLentil from now on.
5. There are no in-app purchases to be made. Your wallet is safe.
6. Unlike Instagram and Snapchat, there is no direct chatting aspect and no possibility for secret conversations.
So… what does this app actually do? For starters, it allows you some piece of mind knowing your child can be entertained and pursue the creative activity of building with Legos in the safety of a danger-free app. No hidden messaging. No disappearing videos. No scandalous selfies. The value of this app is more in what it doesn’t allow. In the long-term, teaching kids good social behaviors could even have implications for future use. Not every app has well-behaved users, but maybe this is the beginning of a new generation? Without visibility to and indulgence in trolling, bullying behavior the possibilities of creating a generation of well-rounded, respectful kids is possible.
Lego Life may be setting the example for safe cyber spaces, but only because the reality of other apps are too scary to think about. The reality that during a child’s adolescence, they will stumble upon or actively search out unsavory content is all too accurate. Consider using parental control software to protect your family digitally. With Net Nanny software, available for desktop and mobile devices (Windows, Mac, iOS and Android), you can safeguard all your child’s online activity for greater peace of mind.