What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Seventeen.com -- the online companion to the
best-selling teen print magazine -- provides a highly interactive forum
for young teens. Capitalizing on universal topics that capture the
attention of teen girls – boys, clothes, makeup, and gossip – the site
offers advice, tips, quizzes, polls, trends, videos, contests, and
blogs. It also features an abundance of advertising, coupons, offers,
and outside links. Though it does have some useful information related
to health and college, it’s mostly comprised of lightweight fluff such
as celebrity gossip, makeup trends, finding the perfect prom dress, and
the hottest guys in Hollywood. There is frank and honest advice (from
experts, editors, and real-life visitors to the site) about serious
topics such as how to flirt and kiss, great pick-up lines, and knowing
when you’re ready to have sex.
Is it any good?
Teen girls typically begin to pick up Seventeen magazine well before
they’re actually 17. This is also probably true of its companion
website, which is easily accessible, instantly engaging and bursting
with entertaining activities with universal girl appeal. Boy talk,
fashion, celebrities, gossip, quizzes and contests will not only draw
them in, but keep them riveted for a while. Mixed in with the fluff
about beauty products and fashion makeovers are some relationship topics
that might be better suited to the older teen, including a “hook-up
handbook,” “flirty text message ideas,” and “30 days to making him
yours.” There’s no shortage of Q&A. Users over 13 can create a free
account in order to post questions or provide advice. Topics run the
gamut from “Do boys care about chest size” to “What should I wear to my
winter formal." Though advertising is rampant (and often cleverly
disguised as contests, fashion finds and featured products), the website
masterfully speaks to teens in a relatable voice and touches on the
subjects that are top-of-mind for girls. But once they’re here, pulling
them away may prove tricky.
Online interaction: Questions posed typically are about topics that teens can easily relate
to and cover the basic issues, from dating and sexual relations to
fashion and friend troubles. Those who post answers are frequently
supportive and encouraging, but because the Q&A forums are
unmoderated, there is strong potential for inappropriate language and
Families can talk about...
How magazines and their online counterparts are both entertaining and
sales tools. How does a website draw you in, keep you there and try to
convince you to shop? How can you be a savvy Internet user and be smart about the many marketing messages you encounter.
Why it’s often easier to seek counsel and advice anonymously. Why is
that? And do you trust the responses and advice you find online? Why or
How magazines – both in print and online -- often portray girls and
women? Why do magazines put super skinny models and celebrities on their
covers? How does this imagery make you think about your own body? Do
you think magazines would sell as many copies or attract as many website
visitors if they showed people who look more like you or your friends?