I recently found an older article about Disney and it’s newest support for Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ campaign. The Walt Disney Company is set to release a series of public-service announcements featuring our first lady on the Disney channel. In these announcements, she will be promoting physical activity and healthy living. The company will also use their Radio Disney and Disney 😄 for promotions (FULL STORY).
Now I won’t lie; I watch the Disney Channel. In my defense the show ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ is absolutely hilarious and after a long day of checking emails, writing blog entries, studying, and running around campus, I need a childhood outlet. Since I’ve been watching this channel, I have noticed they are making a terrific effort to promote not only physical activity, but also getting kids off the computer and outdoors. For example, they have one particular commercial that reminds kids that the internet isn’t the real world and that interacting in person is much more fulfilling than through technology.
This sort of thing is very important to kids today who are bombarded daily with new forms of technology. Between the new video games to the many online social networks, kids are drifting farther and farther away from real world experiences, and more towards those online. Second Life is a great example of how the virtual world can easily be substituted for the real one. People in this second life have their own “avatars” which are basically virtual versions of themselves. Much like any usual online social realm, most portray their avatars to be much more glamorous than they really are. In this virtual world, people can be whatever they want to be and often, many choose to be much more successful versions of themselves. Avatars aren’t just restricted to the world of Second Life, though. They can be used on sites like Yahoo, as seen to the right.
Either way, Second Life can be a fun way for people to interact, but it can also be dangerous to those who aren’t mature enough to understand the complexity of the online application itself. In fact, there have been reports in the past of teens “dating” on Second Life and being emotionally damaged after the relationships end. Although this probably isn’t something that is going to happen with a 10 or eleven-year-old, it is still important to teach children and teens for that matter, the responsibilities of online browsing.
Kudos to Disney for making an effort to get kids off their computers and into the real world!