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Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

5 Social Media Apps Parents Should Know About

  • Jim Liebelt
    Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
  • 2014 Feb 04
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The information in this news article from the Enterprise (Brockton, Massachusetts) confirms what we’ve posted in the recent past. Teenagers are moving away from FaceBook, and are moving to newer social media outlets. Parents need to keep up to date with the rapidly changing social media mediums and engage in discussions with their kids about social media use.

There are three apps referenced in the article that we have not previously mentioned: Keek, Ask.fm, and Whisper.

Here are five new apps are growing in popularity and important for parents to know about because many come with maturity warnings and are rife with problems.

Kik
Kik is a messenger app. It boasts 100 million users and seems like a free texting app that will be able to connect users with their friends, ideal especially for teens that don’t have a cellphone plan and use an iTouch or tablet device. The problem? There are no parental controls and the app has become a place to swap sexts.

Vine
Vine exploded in 2013. The concept of making and sharing six-second videos isn’t bad. It’s been used by celebrities, breaking news coverage, and is famous for its incredible stop-motion videos. However, the app quickly earned a maturity warning and 17+ rating from Apple. Nudity is  allowed and profanity is rampant on the app.

Keek
Where Vine is the place for short videos, Keek is the place for longer videos. When teens join, they may discover pornography and profanity. There are no privacy settings on Keek, meaning adults can subscribe to a child’s content and contact them.

Ask.fm
An app ripe for cyberbullying, which is growing in popularity among teens, is Ask.Fm. Users create profiles with the idea they will answer questions from their friends. Ask is often used for bullying and posting cruel statements on user’s timelines.

Whisper
Similar in nature to the popular blog Post Secret, Whisper is an app where people post questions and confessions as a text over a picture. The Whispers are made public and someone can like or comment on an image or even private message on a post. Whisper discourages posting material that is sexually suggestive or violent or that encourages eating disorders and suicide, but such content is often on the home screen of the app.  The app has a 17+ rating from the Apple App Store.

Source: Enterprise News
http://www.enterprisenews.com/article/20140130/NEWS/301309913/2002/LIFESTYLE/?tag=2