Small Town Times January Newsletter - Page 17

Five Dangerous Apps Parents Don’t Know Teens Use One decade ago, high school senior, Jessica Logan sent a nude photo of herself to her boyfriend. When they later broke up, he forwarded the photo to everyone else at her school. This launched her tragic attempt to hide from those who teased her about being a slut. Jessica ended up losing the battle for her reputation. After attending a funeral, she returned home and committed suicide in her own closet. Jessica is just one story of hundreds I’ve reviewed of teens in middle school, high school and col- lege who’ve been blackmailed, bullied, scorned or threatened on social media—and eventually they ended their lives for it. This is a true scenario for kids from all over the world and from all 50 states. After ten years of social media apps—we can see the damage students do to each other on such sites. One report says, one in three students are bullied today. Parenting a teen has never been an easy feat, but in today’s digital age, tracking a teen’s behavior has become almost impossible. With an increase of social media apps and the option of anonymity, teens are communicating in a digital world that has no boundaries…leaving parents with no idea on how to monitor their teen’s smart phone activity. Five Apps You May Not Know Teens Are Using Common Sense Media reveals that teenagers use an average of nine hours of media entertainment per day. That’s at least half of their waking hours is spent on various sites. But what are those apps that appear to be most dangerous and can cause the most trouble? Yubo (formerly Yellow)– It has been called: “Tinder for Teens” The video chat app, Yubo, known as “Tinder for Teens” allows users to create video group chats with friends and strangers. Teens can swipe “left” on a video to talk to any user they find and share whatever video content they want. An adolescent brain can quickly spot the potential benefits of this app, but they do not see the likely consequences. Calculator% – Fake calculator and secret storage app This app looks like a calculator on the phone screen but actually it’s a secret vault for users to store private content. Parents—if you’re monitoring your teen’s browser history you should be aware of this app-in-disguise. The calculator icon appears to be a utility on a smartphone, but once a user types a password combination into the app, it opens up a location for secret photos and a private Internet browser. Marco Polo – Video instant messaging app “walkie talkie” Marco Polo markets itself as “a face-to-face messaging app for bringing family and friends closer than ever.” My family uses it. However, many teens use this app to send videos—while they