Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Skins. . . Real Kids. . . In Real Time. . . .

Are our kids connecting with MTV's new one-hour Monday night drama, Skins? You bet. This morning I spent a little bit of time on a section of the show's homepage that didn't appear on the Skins homepage until last Wednesday. It caught my eye when I went there this morning.

The section is called "Where It Went Down" and it can be found at whereitwentdown.com. The site features a map that is being updated in real time with icons and stories posted by real kids anonymously telling real stories about themselves for anyone and everyone to read. The stories are short - just a few words of summary. WIWD describes itself this way: Leave your mark on where it all happened! Browse and share the places where memories were made - and the scattered pieces of nights you can’t really remember. Post the truth about the biggest parties, heartbreak, friends, sex, and every kind of trouble.

Users fill out a little template that asks them for their nickname, to tell where it happened, to choose from one of five categories (sex and love, trouble, friends, rocking out, and partying), and then to make some notes on all the details. . . and finally date of birth.

In some ways, the site is very frightening. Give it a visit and you'll see what kids are really doing. . . or at the very least, what they want readers to believe they're really doing. Even more frightening is the fact that maybe just maybe, these are kids who are holding it all in without ever processing it all with someone who is older, wiser, and more mature.

I guess we'll see how well Skins is connecting with our kids, as they take the fictitious world of Skins and translate it into their everyday reality. It's another wake up call.