For a guy (sponge?) who lives in a pineapple under the sea, SpongeBob SquarePants gets around. He's coming to Blu-ray for the first time this year, he's swimming high on the Nielsen ratings list, and now he and the whole of Bikini Bottom are on Facebook. Which just goes to show even one of the most popular kids' shows on television doesn't get kids.
See, the launch of a new Facebook series of SpongeBob shows sounds like a good idea on the surface. There are 16 million "fans" of the show's Facebook page, and it's a site that connects marketers directly to 500 million active users worldwide. But someone has been spending a little too much time doing their thinking under the sea. It's time to come up for oxygen.
Because the rules of the social networking site specifically state, "You will not use Facebook if you are under 13." But this is a show aimed at kids somewhere around the age of 7 or 8. By airing episodes on the site a day before they show up on Nickelodeon, the creators of SpongeBob are expressly telling kids "come on, ignore the rules, we won't tell."
I'm sad to say I'm not terribly surprised by this. SpongeBob is one of those shows I won't let my daughter watch because it annoys the pants off of me. It ranks only thismuch higher than Max and Ruby on my list of characters whose voices are the cartoon version of nails on a chalkboard. SpongeBob is whiny. And crass. And can we talk about the fact that the dude (sponge?) has no neck yet somehow finds it necessary to wear a tie?
So you get it, I'm not a fan. But plenty of kids are (and if their parents are OK with their kids watching something that makes my ears bleed, so be it -- their loss and all that). Now you've got thousands of kids who just want their new episode of SpongeBob, all of whom are being told to break the rules and get on Facebook.
It's time to get the sponge back to Bikini Bottom. What do you think?
Image via Shelley Panzarella/Flickr