We reported earlier on the rise in social networking sites targeted to kids as young as two. Now, give them one more year and they’ll become bloggers.
A recent article in The Independent reports that children as young as three are turning to blogging as a creative and lucrative outlet. New research by Ofcom in the United Kingdom shows that one in five 8-to 11-year olds would like to set up a blog and 15 percent of 12-to 15-year olds are already blogging.
The trend hit the United States this past February when 13-year-old blogging sensation, Tavi, took New York’s Fashion Week by storm. She knocked traditional media from the front row of the major shows and imparted her teenage wisdom on “The Future of Fashion Blogging” as a featured panelist.
It makes sense that kids would turn to the Internet as opposed to the old lock-and-key diary to record their thoughts and opinions. They are, after all, the kids whose every first word, tantrum and bullying experience led their moms to revolutionize the Web with mommy blogs and social networks. They grew up seeing dad attached to his iPhone, and mom never without her laptop.
One 8 year-old blogger, Sonny To, profiled by The Independent exemplifies this trend. “My mum was getting loads of traffic on her blog and it seemed like fun,” he explained.
To provides product reviews on his blog, pointing to another allure of the Internet: free swag and the chance to make money. The latest list of YouTube money-making stars included one 16-year-old making thousands each year.
While some parents see their child’s blogging as an innocent and positive forum, others, including child experts, see bright red flags over the Internet’s unmonitored and potentially addictive or isolating nature.
Parents concerned for their child’s safety and social development do have options, from educating their children and keeping a watchful eye to using passwords to “lock” their child’s blogs.