Future Shock!

Quite recently 12 year old Zach Marks from Florida created a kid-friendly and safe site solely for kids. After being banned from Facebook for creating and maintaining profiles behind his parents’ back, Marks enlisted the help of family members and friends to begin www.GromSocial.com, a social networking site of his own where kids could engage in activities that were suited to their ages. According to the makers, social networking if used in the right way can help kids to interact with friends, express creativity, learn, and safely experiment with online identities. Parents need not be concerned about privacy and age- inappropriate content, problems confronted on a regular basis on mainstream sites such as Facebook and Twitter. With anti-bullying, anti- drugs and anti- smoking policies, the site has appealed to parents too. Children must sign in with a parent and adults cannot join without a child either. The creators have not begun thinking of the financial aspects of such a commercially viable site. So far it’s been a “labour of love”

Futurist Alvin Toffler’s shortest definition for the term “Future Shock” is a personal perception of “too much change in too short a period of time“. His gripping book of the same name, published in 1970, describes a surreal universe that moves the reader and his/ her imagination too quickly for comfort. Back to GromSocial, is it Facebook Junior? Is it the new Facebook? Be it as child friendly as it claims to be, can it remain completely immune to unscrupulous individuals who strive to lead children astray? When the natural course for tweens and teens is to play outdoors and develop interpersonal relationships with their peers and counterparts, is GromSocial a healthy choice after all?

Zach Marks

Zach Marks, Creator of Grom.Social.com

The site has drawn plenty of flak from child counselors and psychologists for the same reasons. And yet, would it be right to deny social networking access to the net- savvy kids of tomorrow when it has become so commonplace after all? From Lego blocks to tapping keys and watching viral videos and rating the level of crassitude, the world’s progressing alright. Brace yourselves, the Future Shock waves are right here…

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