As a teacher, we see and hear so many different things. Then as a mom, I am always finding all of these different ideas and tricks out that I hear around school. I thought it would be helpful to put together a list of apps for parents to be aware of. Our world is ever changing and it’s so scary to think of the possibilities our children are exposed to. I wanted a place and a conversation about certain apps that parents should be aware of.
Recently, a friend recently posted this video from BARK. After watching it, I couldn’t stop thinking about this. I grabbed my kids phone and started digging.
Although I didn’t find anything specific on my children’s phone, through this research I found apps that I didn’t know even existed. After talking to some other teenagers, I realize these are popular apps that kids are using.
APP #1 for Parents To Be Aware Of
Snapchat. This one is the most obvious and probably well known app. After reviewing the app and discussing it with law enforcement, I feel even more certain that parents need to be aware of this app. Teenagers can text ANYTHING they want and parents cannot see the images or text after the other person opens it. This makes is very difficult for parents to monitor this form of social media.
APP #2 For Parents To Be Aware Of
There is an app called “hoop”. This is app that works with SnapChat. It’s like a “tinder” for teenagers. This dating like app gives teens the option to “like” someone and have them automatically added to their SnapChat account. Hoop makes it VERY easy for strangers or other people your children do not even know to connect with them. The app also highly encourages children to take surveys and the data collected is stored. I’d never heard of this app and wasn’t even sure I’d know that it was dangerous if my teen asked me to use it. Below is an image of what it looks like on their device.
APP #3 For Parents To Be Aware Of
The third one is more of a website than an app. There is a website titled “Omegle”. It’s tag line is “Talk To Strangers”. That alone explains why this site is on my list. People are using the other apps to lure kids on this site to live video chat. If you have a web blocking list, I highly recommend blocking this site.
App #4 For Parents To Be Aware Of
The next app is YOLO. Prior to writing this post, I researched this app more. Students are using this app in connection with Instagram and Snapchat. Teenagers will ask their “friends” a question, the friends can respond secretively where their identity is hidden. The nature of this app is very dangerous even if students know the people on their friends list. For a moment, stop and think about if your student has people they do not know. How scary is it that a stranger could anonymously send messages to our students or children?
It is possible that it is people they know, but the can that opens with them being able to send something that parents cannot determine who is sending it. This is a playground for bullying and other bad intentions to come in. Sometimes, teens do not see how dangerous this can be. What if they say something on the app that they are trying to remain silent on and it’s dangerous? We need to teach our children that this is NOT okay.
In conclusion, the amount of apps that children come in contact with is unreal and it’s very difficult to monitor. Therefore, it’s very important though that parents are aware of these apps so that we can help keep our children safe. If you find more apps, please send me a message on Facebook or on Instagram.