It’s no longer the case that SMS messages are the only way for teens to interact with one another. Facebook was one of the first apps to really change that, and many others followed. Now, there are so many apps that it is hard to even name all of them that teens are using to interact among themselves.
Here’s a list of the popular apps among most teens today, with a short note as to why a parent would be concerned with their teen using it.
The Good Old Texting Apps
First off, there are the apps that mimic the usual SMS and MMS messaging services. However, these apps are totally free as they work via Wi-Fi. The most popular among these are Whatsapp, Viber, LINE, and recently, KIK messaging app. All of these offer almost the same functionality, allowing teens to send messages, photos and videos, and even call their friends for free.
All of these apps can allow online predators to get in contact with your children. There is also a possibility of cyberbullying as well as sexting.
The Shiny New ‘Temporary’ Apps
Most of the conventional IPhone apps have now been replaced by apps that allow teens to communicate with each other via short messages that expire after some time. The most popular of these is Snapchat, which allows users to send pictures or videos to others with a time limit, after which they disappear from the receiver’s phone. Another such app is Burn Note, which has the same time limit feature but is limited to text only.
And then there are apps like Whisper, which allow teens to share anonymous posts about themselves, which may have the possibility of leaking out.
While teens love using these apps due to their temporary nature, they may share something embarrassing or provocative without realizing that once something is online, it stays forever. And these ‘temporary’ apps are no exception to that either.