Squad is an application designed for tweens to engage with their first smartphone, downloaded by parents limited to a three month provisional period which could help iGen be more conscious about the negative effects and risks of social media. Squad aims to enhance creativity and thinking skills towards social issues by collaboration with peers to change the expectations of iGen from the social media channels that they will engage with after this period. As a result, children would become better communicators with more thoughtful, conscious, and empathic approach by being active social thinkers using social media as a meaningful channel.
These days kids tend to get their first smart phone at the age of ten, to sign up (illegally) for their first social media accounts by 11, and to measure their worth through online interactions. But while many researchers were focusing on the phenomenon of social media addiction among adults, few were focusing on how it was affecting the iGeneration–children and young adults born between 1995 and 2012. All the other design examples can be considered as reactive or temporary solutions to the current problem without targeting any specific age group. Squad is a unique design solution that targets iGeneration specifically since they experience the negative effects of social media by being born in digital era. It is designed as an antidote a three-month provisional period when tweens with new smart phones could learn about social media’s risks and rewards through a carefully structured app. When parents pass their old smart phones along to their children as a common practice they can download the Squad app. Through the app, their children can create unique profiles, by selecting influencers as persona, defining their hobbies from art to sports and their a social interest from a list of possibilities including nature, education, politics, and more. Once they complete these, they’re assigned to a Squad—three others who they will work with—sometimes online, and sometimes in person—to develop a creative project around the social interest they share. These culminating projects—narrated videos and slide shows—are captured through the app then published, so children can share them with family and friends. During this provisional period, tweens also move through a series of prompts—short readings and quizzes that build awareness about responsible social media use.
There is not any design solution similar to Squad as a proactive approach to create awareness. Squad aims to create a provisional period as a smooth transition when kids first start to engage with their own smartphones while educating them about the negative effects of social media and create awareness in a unique way. Thanks to Squad, smartphones and social media is served to kids as a unique tool to empower them to boost their creativity and social thinking skills by collaboration.They will seek for real connection and real interaction by being socially active which would help them to a have self esteem and more independency.