Most parents want to know what our kids are doing on social media. We’ve been aware of the dangers out there—from sexual predators to cyberbullying. Our kids who spend too much time on their phones are more prone to anxiety and depression. Suicide has doubled for girls from 2007 to 2015 reaching a 40-year high, according to new analysis from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
A decade ago our kids were on MySpace. Then they moved to Facebook. They’re on Instagram and Snapchat now, but are we? The problem I see with social media is that as soon as we figure out how to use a platform, our kids have jumped onto a new one.
In the article called “Got teens? Four popular apps you need to know about” by Amy Morganroth, she details four apps I’ve never heard of. Have you?
“If you’ve got tweens or teens who are on phones or iPads or similar devices, you need to stay vigilant about the latest “hot” apps.
“Many are targeted at kids under the age of 18 and are wildly popular because they are free and easy to use.
“But most also have pretty frightening features that could put your kids at risk if they connect with the wrong person.
“On the flip side, we also highlight one app that’s designed to help parents make sure their child responds to their text messages.”
The apps she mentions are Yellow, musical.ly and Sarahah that can be platforms for cyberbullying or meeting up with strangers. Yellow is called “Tinder” for kids. It’s a meet-up app and there are no controls on it. The app musical.ly allows users to create music videos with their friends. That may sound harmless but one dad reported that his seven-year-old daughter was asked to post topless photos of herself. Sahara is a messaging app and the problem is it’s all anonymous, hence the cyberbullying. The app ‘Reply ASAP’ allows parents to remotely lock their kids’ phones if they don’t respond to their text within three minutes. I’d like that one. I hate it when my kids don’t respond to my texts.
I haven’t found the answer to the dangers of social media for our kids mental and physical health. My only suggestion is to get your kids into an environment where they have to put their phones down. Like in the swimming pool, a hike in the mountains–or a day at the beach.
Are you fluent in knowing what apps are on your kid’s phones? How do you monitor their social media?