As parents of this generation, you should have realized by now that teenagers today are attracted to new technology like moths to a flame.. Unfortunately, not all of the social media trends, games or apps are appropriate for teenagers; in fact there are some apps that you should definitely be concerned about.
Here at STAR Guides, we often see teenagers using an app innocently enough, but after a certain period of time, they either get addicted to it or suffer some damage because of it. We decided to make a list of such apps, so parents know what to watch out for.
The first alarming thing about Snapchat is the icon of the app; a ghost should be an alarming sign. The second thing – more of a cause of concern for parents – is that it fills teenagers with a false sense of security. The whole premise of the app is that any message you send will disappear seconds after the receiver has opened it, allowing them to send inappropriate content. But, what they don’t think about is that anyone can capture an image of that message using a secondary device or a screenshot. Teens need to know that anything they post online can potentially be captured and used against them. Snapchat leads teens to believe they can post sexual content and nudity safely without worry of it being captured by others.
Tinder is a very useful site for adults and they believe that it is safe enough, but when you take a closer look, you will realize how dangerous it can be for kids. Teenagers can use the app without any hindrances; now imagine your child using Tinder to seek out potential ‘romantic’ matches. Their information is broadcasted to strangers and any one can use it to cause harm to them. Unfortunately too many well intended teens find themselves exploited and taken advantage of through those they meet with Tinder.
This is an app built to stir trouble; Whisper allows users to post pictures and text anonymously. The purpose of the app is to start rumors and reveal people’s secrets. The content, which is shared via the app, can be seen by people around them; their school mates, neighbors, etc. If they share too much or reveal something about someone else, then it could bring unwanted attention towards them.
9Gag allows it users to post images and memes online, but the fact that it doesn’t have a proper check and filtering system, makes it highly dangerous for teens. Not to mention the fact that 9Gag is full of cyber-bullies that can abuse teens and cause them emotional pain.
These 4 apps are the ones that are currently popular among teen circles; check your children’s phones to make sure that they aren’t using any of these apps. If your child is dealing with technology or internet porn addiction, then get in touch with us at 800-584-4629 to discuss an appropriate plan of action. Our program can help adolescents deal with the core problems behind their addictions and put them on the path to a healthier life.
Matt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working in the field of youth treatment and psychotherapy since 1995. He did his undergraduate work at BYU and earned his M.S.W. at the University of Utah. He has worked in a variety of treatment setting in his career ranging from wilderness therapy and residential treatment to outpatient treatment and state government.