We’re pleased to introduce this guest post from Amy Williams. Amy is a mother of two and a former social worker. As a parent, she enjoys spreading the word on positive parenting techniques in the digital age and raising awareness on issues like cyberbullying and online safety.
Monitoring your Kids on Social Apps
Children, Communication, And Social Media Trends
As parents join the social media giant, Facebook, our kids are quickly exiting from the scene. To fill the gap, they are spending more and more time on lesser known apps. For many parents, this can leave us wondering what social media apps our children are utilizing and who they are interacting with.
Listed below are 5 popular social apps among kids that should be on our radar:
- Snapchat. This popular disappearing messaging app allows kids to send photos or messages that disappear after the receiver views the message. While it is intended to promote authentic communication, it can quickly become the perfect vehicle for cyberbullying and sexting.
- Kik. Many parents haven’t heard of this messaging app, but it’s used by 40 percent of all teens. It uses anonymous id’s and allows teens to send messages without using a cell plan’s limited texts. Many stories about predators contacting our kids with Kik has surfaced raising concern about this app’s safety.
- Yik Yak. Is an anonymous message board that sorts users based on location. This is a great way to stay informed of the best concerts or eateries, but cyberbullying is rampant on these boards.
- TikTok is a video-sharing app that allows the user to create unique short videos. Users can add unique filters, stickers, and other fun video editing options. However, anyone who uses the app may come across mature content through the public stream, hashtag searches, or via explicit lyrics.
- Instagram. This app is a visual potluck that allows teens to create memes, share images, and more. Unfortunately, this app has been known for cyberbullying and buying drugs.
At Mercy Home we have conversations with the boys and girls about what they use their phones for and what the presence they are creating online for themselves. We do our best to ensure our kids are making good choices. We restrict phone use during program activities and events which would include dinner, group activities and other similar events.