Starbright World

Common Sense Media says

Social network provides support to seriously ill teens.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The overarching message is one of support, solidarity and strength. Also, the site -- and its members -- enables kids facing health challenges to still be social, silly, and fun

Not applicable
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Vivendi, an entertainment company, is the signature sponsor of the site, and their logo is prominent throughout the site.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Members are identified by username, but they could potentially share private information.


Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this safe, supportive social network is a virtual place for seriously ill teens to come together and find a sense of community. Here, teens with life threatening or chronically ill medical conditions can connect with each other through moderated chat rooms, profiles, and bulletin boards. Whether they’re in the hospital or holed up at home, teen users will discover a wealth of activities such as contests, polls, videos, and games to help pass the time -- and a community of supportive kids to look to and lean on, including kids who share the same diagnosis or who are undergoing similar procedures. Created by the Starlight Children’s Foundation, the site is a tool (in a very large toolbox) that the foundation uses in its mission to improve the lives of children affected by serious illness and life-altering injuries.

Parents say

Kids say

Is it any good?


Being a teenager is tough enough already. Saddle a child with a serious illness, and the rigors of doctor visits, hospitalizations, and treatment can strip kids from friends, favorite pastimes and social activities. StarbrightWorld provides a private, safe place for teens to congregate and commiserate with others who relate and empathize. Straightforward and frank, illness is acknowledged -- not sugarcoated -- and members are treated with respect and dignity. Users will find a wealth of ways to reach out for help and support as they’re navigating their illness. A simple search can connect teens who share the same diagnosis or who are undergoing the same treatment. Specialized “vent chats” give users the chance to rant about anything on their minds, all under the guidance of a mental health expert. For teens with a serious illness, StarbrightWorld provides a place where they’re never alone.

Online interaction: Teen members will find abundant social interaction and activities -- chats, clubs, games, collecting friends, and more -- but the biggest benefit may be the supportive network created on the site.

Families can talk about...

  • How social networks can create a sense of community and compassion among different groups of people. How do you think teens who are ill feel when they discover an online resource like this? What other websites help provide support for people?

  • Why it’s important for this website to remain private and only for those who are seriously ill. Why do you think privacy matters to the people who create the site and who use it?

  • How staying connected has become such an integral part of life for kids. Ways technology helps keep kids who are ill connected to their friends, family and school. Would you deal with your illness differently if you didn’t have digital tools to stay in touch?

Website details

Genre:Social Networking
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Starbright World was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 6 year old Written bycumar March 29, 2010
Love it
What other families should know
Great messages
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 13 years old Written byhrock500 May 5, 2010


What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Teen, 16 years old Written byem1226 May 12, 2011

Everything a Sick Teen Needs

This website is the perfect fit for a teen like me with a chronic illness. When I joined, I was welcomed with open arms to teens who were curious about my rare disease. The teens on here are supportive, and always have great advice. I give this website a 10/10 in awesomeness. For parents who are concerned about safety, the website does ask for your address, but will not use this information except to send your teen prizes won in contests. SBW is always monitored by at least one chat host that will kick teens out for a small period of time if they begin breaking rules. We are not allowed to share our last names, addresses, or phone numbers. Starbright World is a safe haven for seriously or chronically ill teens, and will continue to be so.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages


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