Apps are used by most of the population now but what apps are your kids using? Social media is used by an estimated 244 million people in 2018 in the United States and is on the rise. It seems that the popular apps among kids and young adults changes on the daily so we complied the top 5 apps that you need to understand right now. And remember your best defense against the dangers of social media is your knowledge.
Considering 1 billion people use Instagram a month and 72% of teens use the app, it had to take the #1 spot on our list. Instagram (Insta/IG) is a photo and video sharing app that was launched in October 2010. It allows its users to upload videos and photos, add filters, use hashtags, follow anyone who is also on the app, and add their location information. It also added Instagram Stories which allows the users to upload short videos and photos that last for 24 hours.
So why do you need to understand the app? For starters, the app has the ability to use Location Services that allows its users to geotag exactly where they are. It also has an age restriction but changing the birth year only takes a few clicks. In regards to privacy, it is safe but users can still see profile photos and their bios.
There is also the brand of the “Instagram model/influencer.” An “Instagram model ” is defined as ” a content creator who uses the Instagram platform as a means to showcase their work. They earn money by working with brands to advertise products or services on their Instagram accounts.” So what does this mean and why does it effect your kids? These “models” often are half naked and pushing products that aren’t always safe.
Models, influencers, and even celebrities also paint a picture of this perfect life that can cause anxiety, depression and the feeling of missing out in your child. Kids and teens are susceptible to a lot of things. They are growing and figuring out who they are. Going on social media can be a trigger to the mental disorders listed above.
With almost 300 million users on Snapchat, the majority of users are the millennial and the Gen X kids. So what is Snapchat? Snapchat is a messaging app that lets users send each other photos and videos (“snaps”) that only last for a few seconds. The user can also put filters on their photos and add text to their “snaps.”
So is Snapchat dangerous? Because there is nothing inherently dangerous about the app, the younger generation unfortunately has changed that. The app is often referred to as the “sexting app.” First, “sexting” is the act of texting about having sex. It involves the parties using explicit sexual language and participating in sexual fantasies via texting.
So how does Snapchat play a part? Users can now send each other sexual explicit photos that last only a few seconds versus texting where the photo can be saved forever. But this isn’t always true. Even though the photo has “disappeared,” a quick screenshot of it before it does and now its permanent.
Another feature that Snapchat prides itself on is the chat disappearing once the app is closed. There are ways to save the conversation but when it comes to sexting and even cyber bullying, kids don’t always do that. Now the conversation is gone and cannot be used for evidence.
This one is flying under the radar for most parents. VSCO is a photo sharing app that lets its users filter and share photos and doesn’t require a username. It is similar to Instagram but users don’t comment or like the photos. It also doesn’t allow the user to see who is following them.
There is zero privacy for the users though. There is no option to make your profile private. It also has their default settings to always share the location of the photo was taken.
What seems to be the biggest problem with this app is that because its flying under the radar, teens tend to post risker photos. They share photos participating in illegal activities and even nude photos of themselves without knowing the dangers of pedophiles.
This app is also another one that is newer and not quite understood by parents. TikTok is a media app for creating and sharing short videos. Users can upload 15 second videos and the video plays in a loop. Most users lip sync to a popular song or viral meme and use filters to perfect their videos.
Compared to VSCO, TikTok has privacy settings. Users can decide whether or not they want others to find them and set their profiles to private. They can also pick who they want to sing along with, message, and who can leave comments. TikTok does have an age restriction but is also open to anyone and everyone which leads to more mature content.
Recently, there was a popular TikTok user who was taking advantage of underage girls. He would use his platform to duet with the girls who clearly looked underage. The user was exposed to have contacted multiple underage girls and having sexual explicit conversations. Some girls as young as 14 years old.
If you’re wondering why Youtube is on our list, then keep reading. Within the last few months, a soft core pedophile ring was discovered. Youtuber, Matt Watson exposed the ring and also showed viewers how the pedophiles use time stamps. He also showed that in two clicks, he was in a wormhole of young girls in compromising positions.
Immediately upon the video going viral, big time companies began to pull their advertisements including Nestle, Fortnite, and Epic Games.