Parents have a natural reaction to the latest wave of social/dating apps. They worry for the safety of their own children and they want to know what they can do to keep their children safe. Most of all, they want to have the ability to track what is going on with their teenagers. We take a look at some of the most popular dating apps that teenagers are using to communicate with one another and maybe even find a date.
You may have heard your children asking each other to “Kik them”. It sounds like a strange term, but all they are really saying is that they want that person to send them a message on Kik. Kik is a messaging application that allows users to send one another text style messages for free.
Users create a screen name on the app and can give out that username to people they would like to receive messages from. In a way it is a lot like getting a text message but safer than giving out a phone number to a stranger on the Internet.
The Skout app is a more dating related application. It is targeted directly at those looking to meet someone to date. It uses technology to geo-locate users so as to pair them up with people from around their area. It is something that can be used by all age groups.
There are a lot of people who love this app because it allows them to meet new people no matter where they personally are in the world. That enables them to continue to make new friends or even find a date in different parts of the world.
This one is similar to Kik in that it allows users to send each other short messages in text, audio, or video form. It has an age limit set by the maker at 16. However, it doesn’t seem as though the users are actually honoring this age limit set. There is every opportunity for younger people to get on and use it without much enforcement on the age limit.
WhatsApp is great for those who want to communicate with others but who want to maintain some level of privacy. Once parents start to understand what this app is and how their children are using it, they tend to understand it better and actually find it acceptable to allow them to use it.
Parents ought to make decisions about which technologies their children are permitted to use at all times. This means that they should understand what is going on with these apps so as to have the best idea of what actions they should or should not take.