A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this site is an interactive online community featuring the popular teen network's shows and their sometimes-dodgy content. Teens are exposed to all that goes on in the shows -- drinking, kissing, talk of sexual escapades, jealousy, some drug use (popping pills, cocaine). The site does try to hawk goods, and commercials and ads run rampant.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
THE-N.COM is an online community based on the television network the N, which airs popular teen shows such as Degrassi, Beyond the Break, and South of Nowhere. Kids can take personality quizzes; play games; watch clips or previous episodes of shows; buy wallpaper, ring tones, or animations for their cell phones; and chat on message boards -- mostly about N TV-related topics. Each show also has its own section with videos, pictures, episode descriptions, character bios, cast interviews, downloads, and message boards. The "Games & Quizzes" area provides quite a bit of entertainment as well as some skill-building exercises. Membership is free, and once teens log on, they can receive "Nmails" (emails from/to other members) and search for friends on the site based on similar profiles. Each member can build an avatar, complete with clothing, hair, and accessories purchased with "creds" (earned by navigating throughout the site) at the Avatar Mall.
Is it any good?
If your teen is a big fan of N TV's shows, he or she will most likely enjoy clicking around this site. Be aware that the streaming video isn't censored, so kids see the shows as just they air -- complete with drinking, drug use, sexual activity, fights, and questionable judgment.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the questions in the personality quizzes such as: "How Emo Are You?" or "What's Your Internet Personality?" Are the results truly representative of the person who takes the poll? Families can also discuss the "Hook-Up" -- a game that involves intense simulated conversations where players are scored based on how their responses impact a computer-generated character. How do you think this differs from real-life conversation?