Social Media Site For All Ages: Frienedy

frienedy-logoFrienedy is the first site of its kind that lets users of all ages manage life in groups. Engineered with parental permissions at the core, the company has created a private online environment that leverages parental engagement for users under 13 to guide the social media experience. Frienedy offers users of all ages a web application that provides private group communication.

Until now, there has been a void in the social networking space both for users under age 13 as well as for managing content and social feeds for groups of all types.

According to Founder and CEO, Janel Patterson, “Kids are getting online much younger than they were when today’s social networking norms were first established, which has led to a rise in cyber bullying and cyber predators. Parents need a tool that enables them to proactively introduce social media to their children when they decide the time is right- and before kids go out and discover it themselves. At Frienedy, our core mission is to prevent cyber bullying before it starts and to eliminate the risk of children becoming victims of cyber predators.”

There is also a market for managing social feeds and content for groups that have members of all ages. According to Jake Giganti, COO for Frienedy, “I grew up on social media. I never saw an easy way to manage all of the events and social feeds and basic information for every group I was part of growing up. Not just my soccer team and classes, but my different groups of friends. And, now as an adult, I have even more social groups I’m part of and need to stay engaged with. Frienedy Groups solves this problem- but more compellingly- for users of all ages.” Groups can communicate privately and maintain practice or meeting schedules, classroom assignments, youth group activities, photos, videos, documents, even trigger last minute notifications. Frienedy is the way to manage all of this – and for younger users, under discreet parental oversight.

Frienedy includes a robust events calendar for managing group events and a shopping list feature called WishList to promote user engagement. Mobile apps are currently in development, and the website is currently mobile responsive for any device. You can sign up for a free account by going to www.frienedy.com.

About Frienedy
Frienedy, LLC (www.frienedy.com) was founded in 2013 as a safe, private group networking community designed for users and groups of all ages. Frienedy complies with COPPA standards for users under 13, enabling a revolutionary new way for people of all ages to connect, share and interact safely and privately in all of life’s Groups.

Contact: Janel Patterson
Frienedy, LLC
Phone: (636) 542-0540
Email: press@frienedy.com
URL: www.frienedy.com

3 Hot Teen Trends in Social Media

Years ago MySpace gave way to Facebook.  Now we have many social networks out there such as Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and more.

It is important that teens understand how to use their privacy settings in all their social media sites as well as never to give out their passwords.

Common Sense Media reminds parents of the current apps that teens are using today:

Social Media: How Did We Network Before the Internet?

HandshakeHow did you meet?

How did you find your job?

How did you select your college?

How did you find your home or apartment?

Many of us have heard our parents and grandparents story of “when they grew up….” how they didn’t have many of today’s luxuries (or what some consider necessities) that we have today. Whether it is a telephone or computers, times have changed.

From reading the classifieds in a newspaper to surfing websites that offer jobs, homes, and the news – the way people interact has shifted into social networking.

Let’s begin with some definitions.

What is networking? Well, it’s pretty simple, actually. Networking is nothing more than making and nurturing connections between people. We all do it, though some are more adept at it than others. Usually, a network is defined as a group of connections through which people socialize, share resources, and enhance productivity.

Now, define “Old School.” A time before the advent of web sites created for the purpose of networking is implied by the last three words. But, how far back should I go? I’ll go all the way back, and use my own personal history to give a series of little snapshots.

1960-70′s

As a child, I carried my network in my head. It consisted of the people in my family and extended family, neighbors, and some people in our small town with whom I had regular contact. Memory and close interaction were sufficient to maintain my network up until high school. That was when I started keeping a notebook with names, addresses, and phone numbers of people that I wanted to stay in touch with in the future. I graduated high school in the mid 1970′s and my network continued to grow.

1980′s

By 1980 I had begun my career, and my social network began to acquire professional connections. Most of the connections were still stored only in my memory, but those that were useful but not used on a regular basis were kept in a “little black book” and on a rolodex. The black book was simply a notebook with sections based on an alphabetical listing of people’s last names. A rolodex, for those of you that are unfamiliar with the term, was a storage system for business cards that could be organized by name or business category.

Actual business and social connections were maintained through personal contact, telephone conversations, and the occasional letter sent or received by US mail. Much effort was made to schedule time for coffee and lunch meetings, and other social activities that helped to nurture face to face time and opportunities for personal discussion. There were then, as there are now, secondary and tertiary connections in my network with people that I had never met or spoken with, people connected to the primary contacts in my network. If I wanted to connect with one of these, I would make contact with the person that I knew of them through, and ask for an introduction.

1990′s

This was pretty much standard throughout the 1980s and 1990s, with the introduction of personal computers making it slightly easier to keep track of network connections. Computers brought databases that could be manipulated to store and correlate network connections. This meant that even those of us that are not naturally adept as information organizers could keep track of larger networks with a little effort. Through the 1990s, both cell phones and email became common and helped to make networks even more accessible and useful. Because we carried our phones with us, we could reach each other to speak more easily, and the ability of email to connect the same information with a lot of people at the same time brought us right to the edge of today’s proliferation of social media and personal technology.

Networking has been made easier, though sometimes a little less personal, with the technologies and media that have grown in the last few decades, but it has always been with us. From the beginning of civilization to now and beyond, networking is simply part of who we are and how we get things done. Nowadays we just happen to use LinkedIn, FaceBook, and Twitter to make it easier than ever to create, extend, and keep in touch with our network.

Contributor: My ISP Finder

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Junes is National Internet Safety Month

ATTSMart

It’s hard to believe June is already here, and many students are already out of school for the summer!

The free time during summer gives kids ample opportunities to test boundaries as they explore the Internet, on both the home computer and their mobile device, talk and text with friends on their smartphones, and scan countless viewing choices on TV.

With kids integrating technology into their daily lives, parents need to keep abreast of their kids’ activities.

There are easy-to-use, effective tools available today that allow parents to stay in the driver’s seat of their children’s TV, Internet and wireless activities.  Here’s a quick primer:

Get tech savvy. Ironically, the first step in this process is decidedly low-tech: Talk to your kids. You have to be proactive in discussing what technologies they’re using and how they’re using them. You should even experiment with the technologies, for instance, by sending an instant message to a relative. This will give you a better feel in evaluating risks and potential abuses.

Armed with this knowledge, you can easily find out what parental controls are available. AT&T Smart Controls is one example that brings together information on the privacy and protection features available to subscribers of the company’s high speed Internet, TV and wireless services. The site is a show-and-tell of how parents can safeguard their children against misuse of technology.

Surf smart. From social networking sites and chat rooms to online gaming and other sites, today’s kids know their way around the Net. But most Internet service providers (ISP) offer parents tools to block access to specific Web pages as well as to services such as e-mail, instant messaging, chat groups and message boards.

Since it’s virtually impossible to stay informed about all the sites kids want to visit, also check to see if your ISP offers permission slips, which allow children to request access to unauthorized Web sites. You get to be the judge. Tamper controls are another helpful feature, alerting parents if children attempt to change the settings.

Be wireless smart. As technology expands, so do the possibilities for misusing cell phones. This may take the form of your child making inappropriate calls or downloading expensive or inappropriate material.

Many carriers offer features allowing parents to block select incoming or outgoing calls to the phone and to install “sleep” functions so that calls after a certain time of night do not ring but messages go directly through to voice mail.

With most people accessing the Internet from their smartphones today, carriers such as AT&T offer parental controls to restrict mobile phone access to web sites containing content inappropriate for children, as well as to restrict purchase of premium subscriptions and downloads such as games, ringtones and graphics. For example, AT&T Smart Limits for Wireless lets you limit your child’s data usage, texting, purchases, and times of day the device is used. The parental patrols provide your child with the freedom and security of a mobile phone while allowing you to set sensible boundaries for your child.
There also are location-based services, like AT&T FamilyMap, that let users locate a family member’s cell phone on a map via Web browser on a PC or a mobile device. These types of tools give parents peace of mind while they’re away from their children.

Watch smart. The bad news is that, with hundreds of channels on the air, there are more inappropriate viewing options for kids than ever before. The good news is parents have more control than ever over what their kids are watching.

Virtually all TV service providers offer tools to filter movies based on MPAA ratings. Many even offer additional programming protection based on expanded ratings such as violence, language, nudity and sexual content.

Looking to go one step further? Some providers also enable you to prevent your children from viewing selected channels unless they enter the correct password.

In the end, a parent’s responsibilities in overseeing their child’s technology use are not much different than in other areas of daily life. Set clear boundaries on appropriate and inappropriate uses of technology. Then monitor their activity and be consistent with enforcing rules.

Above all, don’t be intimidated. Even if you’re less savvy about the technology than your children, you have the tools to make your job simpler in an ever more complicated world.

Parents can find more information on technology safety and parental controls at www.att.com/smartcontrols.com or http://www.pta.org/parent_resources.html.

Safer Online Challenge for Teens: Time is Ticking

MSChallengeEvery parent worries about their children both online and off.

Who are they talking to online?  Are they chatting with strangers?  What information are they sharing?  Does your teen or child know the boundaries?

Let’s face it, you can never be safe enough or secure enough–there is always something new to learn!

Encourage your teens to participate in The Safer Online Teen Challenge by Microsoft!

The Challenge is an interactive contest where teens can teach others how to manage their digital lifestyle by creating a song, video, skit or other original work. It’s a perfect way for teens to put their own spin on how they navigate digital safety.

Here’s how it works:

• Teens ages 13 to 18 (where applicable), select an online safety topic from either the Microsoft Safety & Security Center or the “Resources” tab of the Safer Online by Microsoft Facebook page.
• They create their work of art (using one of Microsoft’s five categories: skit/presentation, video, story/cartoon, song, survey) and submit their entry by April 12 on the Challenge website.
• Then, Microsoft’s Safer Online Facebook fans will vote to select the winners of each category. Microsoft will post the winning entries on their website and the winners will receive prizes like tablets, gaming systems and more.

Check out the prizes!

Great prizes!

Great prizes!

What Your Teens Think of Your Online Reputation?

You know you’re a pretty good parent. Sure, you’re not perfect – but most of the time, you do what you have to do to provide a comfortable, nurturing life for your kids. Most importantly, your children love and respect you.

But because kids are naturally curious, they will start to wonder about aspects of your life that they aren’t familiar with. And since kids are computer-savvy, they’re likely to turn to the Internet to find the answers rather than ask you.

When they type your name into a search engine, what will they come across? Will they discover:

  • Inflammatory comments from you? Did you insult someone on a Facebook thread? Send out a foul-mouthed tweet? Or perhaps you even kept a personal blog at one point that espoused ideas you’ve since “grown out of”? They’re still out in cyberspace somewhere.
  • Embarrassing photos or videos with you in them? Maybe these images depict you drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, or consuming illicit drugs. Or perhaps you were wearing provocative or inappropriate clothing. Or it’s possible you were engaging in some activity that would require a difficult and uncomfortable explanation.
  • Photos or videos containing you and other members of the opposite sex? Even innocent photos of you and an ex-significant other can set off a confused train of thought in the minds of (particularly young) children. Especially if you were kissing or hugging someone who isn’t their mother/father. (And God forbid that ill-advised sex tape ever made its way onto the Web!)
  • Negative comments made by others about you? Kids are protective of their parents, so it may hurt them if they see other people saying bad things about Mom and Dad on Facebook or other social media sites, even if they were meant in jest. Especially if they were written by people that the child knows (like family friends or relatives).
  • Your membership in groups that may be difficult to explain? In addition to traditional organizations, this includes online forums, virtual worlds, and even gaming sites. If you are found contributing to a site or group that discusses drugs, weapons, illegal activity, or pornography – even one time – that will probably initiate an awkward parent-child conversation.
  • Complaints or accusations against you professionally? If you are a business owner, lawyer, or doctor, there are sites out there that collect reviews and comments about people in your industry. Practicing good merchant, attorney, or physician reputation management will reduce the odds of your kid seeing someone insult or gripe about their mom or dad.
  • Your criminal record? Sure, those criminal record database sites cost a little money – but that doesn’t mean that your child still won’t get access to them. Even if it was a drug charge, public intoxication arrest, or a misdemeanor assault or theft, any blemish on your past could undermine any moral authority you have with your kids in the future.

You’ve probably already figured out the moral of this story: It is essential that you monitor your online reputation. This means getting problematic content off of sites you control, and even asking other site administrators to remove unflattering material. Because the last thing you want is for some long-ago incident or bad decision to come back to haunt you by jeopardizing your relationship with your children.

Guest post by Chris Martin.

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