There’s a fine article in today’s New York Times exploring the relationship between online, Facebook-like Web sites and the young girls these sites target. It’s stunning, really, to read that these youngsters (the profiled girl here is 9) prefer to engage in virtual worlds wherein they dress up dolls, do each other’s hair and gossip—granted, excellent training for the real world—all from the comfort of their chair. You bet these sites create controversy, with concerned parents groups, one of which I’m a member of, claiming that they’ll ruin children’s real life social skills.
Even Mattel’s Barbie, that model of American female domesticity, is getting in on the action, with BarbieGirls.com currently in beta.
I don’t know, do we really want our children spending all of their free time playing online dolly? I’m not a doctor (clearly), but it just seems unwholesome to me. Can’t they at least spend their time online doing the Wikipedia Shuffle?
Doll Web Sites Drive Girls to Stay Home and Play [New York Times]