How often do you check your teen phone? Does your teen use social media apps? Also, do you know what to look out for if you do check your teen’s phone? There are so many different apps and most teens use them all. So I’ve come up with a list of apps that I think teens are using and included their dangers.
If you have a teen and don’t know what snapchat is, you must be living under a rock. It’s an socail media app that allows you to send photos and up to 60-second videos to your friends. You can then send the snap to a friend or group of friends and it will self-destruct within a set period of time (Between 1 – 60 seconds). The image then disappears forever (well, sort of nothing on the internet is deleted forever). Your friend can then reply with another image/message or they can simply instant message you back. The other option is to post the photo to “Your story” where all your snapchat friends will be able to see the photo for 24 hours before it self-destructs.
Why do teens love snapchat?
One of a teen’s favourite word is I’m bored, this way they can send stupid silly photos to their friends. Some teens love it because it isn’t possible for parents to monitor their messages. All messages and images shared in the app disappear and cannot be viewed by a parent who picks up the phone. Also, if you have parental monitoring software on the phone it cannot monitor what is shared on Snapchat.
Dangers For Parents to be aware of:
Stranger Danger: Do you know who your child is talking to? Make sure that you have instilled in them about stranger danger and cyber danger and that Johnny* from Australia who says he is 15 and has amazing hair, could actually be Fred* from Ballymena aged 53 who is a child sex offender and is persuading your darling that he will travel to meet her and confess his unconditional love. We were all teens once and like to live in the fairytale dream, the thing is in the world we live in now, as parents we can’t actually see who our kids are speaking to and its next to impossible to know every single one.
Sexting: I’m not saying your darling angel is doing it, but it does happen among teens, and it is something you should be aware of as a parent. Snap Chat does give a false sense of security with the message will “self-destruct” feature, however, we are living in 2018 there are ways around that. The person who receives the image can take a screenshot and save it to their phone. (The sender will be notified if a screenshot has been taken.) But there are lots of apps available that integrate with Snapchat and allow the recipient to easily save the image before it self-destructs. An example is an app called Snap Save.
Bullying: Growing up nowadays have become exceptionally hard, especially since the bullies can now taunt you from the safety of your home. Snapchat is a perfect breeding ground for trolls to fester because of the message and therefore the evidence, disappears within 60 seconds. As the child that is being bullied, this adds the torment because they cannot show their parents the message and how they are being bullied. Bullies often can take embarrassing photos of the victim they then send them to a large group on Snapchat. Many kids deliberately post photos to their “Story” of themselves hanging out together with their friends, in part to show who is there and who was not included. For the person who is being bullied this will make them feel isolated and lonely.
Melon is an app that allows you to meet new people, (as a parent alarm bells should be ringing off about now). Meeting people has never been easier. Starting a chat is as simple as pressing a button and entering into a fun video chat with your new friend. Talk to as many people as you want, wherever you want. You can communicate through text, photo, and video.
Why do teens love it?
Ah sure what’s better than talking to people from all over the world at a drop of a button.( whilst giving your parents nightmares), So you can use search filters to find people to chat with; so as a teenage boy you can put in 15-year-old girl Europe. (But also a Mr 53-year-old Fred* can do the same)
Dangers For Parents to be aware of:
Well, the reviews on google play store should say it all,
This is the most disgusting site. An adult male showed his penis to minor this site is not appropriate for being on here. I don’t know the young lads. But this site is full of pedophiles
This site should be closed down ASAP. If anyone in the right mind would agree and help to get this site closed for good.
Just don’t waste your time uploading this app, well where to begin with? As soon as the app starts immediately opens up a video chat with a stranger and to my misfortune, it had to be an old half naked guy, gross😡
I actually downloaded the app, for research purposes, With my husband sitting on the couch next to me and I was greeted with two video chats, one was off a man from France aged 19 in a white vest clearly no underwear on. The second was another man from the Middle East and he had no top on. That was within 5 seconds of downloading the app, the app also linked to my Face book and said I was only 21. I wish. Please be warned if you should see this app on your child’s phone delete it.
This is a social media app for sharing photos and videos, you can filter and edit them as much as you like. It’s where you can make a bowl of cornflakes look like a delicious meal and share it with your followers.
Why Teens Love it?
It’s easy to take a photo when you are on the go, edit it and post it for your friends to see. Also, a lot of celebs use Instagram so its easy for followers to have an insight into their daily life.
Dangers for Parents to be aware of:
The worries I have is that default sharing setting for Instagram is public. So since anybody can follow anyone on Instagram, any image shared can be seen by anybody. That can be dangerous if the public images contain visual identities of your kid’s hangouts /home and school. It’s another social media platform the Mr.Fred* from Ballymena can follow you on pretending to be a 15-year-old. Which means if your darling daughter puts a photo of herself and her best friends going to the GAA disco in a short skirt, Fred* will probably see. And the mind of a parent doesn’t bear thinking about what happens next. Also “Likes for Likes” and “Follow for Follow”, it’s a popularity thing that many teens (and adults) have, the more likes and follows they gain the more popular they may seem. However, I actually learned lately also you can buy follows and likes on Instagram. WTF… Also, you can use Instagram as a messaging service. Mainly Instagram is full of deception and is known to cause a lot of self-esteem issues. Instagram easily makes girls and women feel as if their bodies aren’t good enough as people add filters and edit their pictures in order for them to look “perfect”.
Other Apps to watch out for on your child’s phone:
This is a music app that you can upload and view videos on. Many of the videos are of teens lip-syncing to the latest hits. Because the platform features popular music and a mix of teen and adult users, there is swearing and sexual content.
This is a way for groups of friends to connect via live video. Two to eight people can be in a chat together at the same time. There are ways to “sneak” into chats and if someone who’s not a direct friend joins a chat, teens get an alert in case they want to leave the chat.
This is a “confessional” app, you can post whatever’s on your minds, including an image. As teens are walking hormones this is an anonymous way of them sharing their thought without the fear of being judged. This is commonly used to say dark things like self-harm and suicide.
Blender, Tinder, Grindr, POF all these apps are dating apps and in my opinion, if your teen isn’t 18 they shouldn’t be on their phone.
There are also number of apps also that allow teens to hide photos and other files from their parents they are Audio Manager and %calculator. These look like normal phone software apps but actually are secret vaults to hide information,
Is there any other apps you have come across that I haven’t mentioned? Does your child have any of these on their phone? How often do you check your teen’s phone? Please let me know.
*Fred is a fictional character, I have nothing against Fred’s or anybody living in Ballymena
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