(This article is part of my series named Protecting Children Online.)
Just when you think that you’re on top of the latest sites that teens are frequenting, they’re off to other places! Though Facebook use by teens is ebbing, it’s still way ahead of every other social media site, with Twitter rising fast right behind Facebook. But what about Vine, Instagram, Tumblr, Kik and Snapchat, you ask? One of the Today Show’s blogs, called Today Moms, offers a great and current article by Lela Davidson called 11 Social Media Apps Teens Are Using Now. The author covers the bases well and is worth the read if you want to know more about these new sites and their potential pitfalls, etc.
Please Note, The Following Sites Are Potentially Dangerous (my view) for Teens, Period:
Ask.fm – Teens ask questions and get lurid comments and nude pics in return. (Not to be confused with Ask.com, which is fine.)
Omegle – Loaded with scumbags trolling for young teens; nudity; meet-ups and weak safeguards.
Meet Me – It’s just what it says, much like Omegle.
Bang With Friends – The name says it all.
Be sure to consider blocking these site names and their url’s in your parental controls. Also, keep Tumblr on your radar screen too. It can and does offer a lot of useful content in the form of short videos and images, etc. But Tumblr has also caused serious concern among Internet Safety advocates and some health care professionals. Tumblr has been quietly known among some troubled teens as a how-to source on various self-destructive behaviors, including cutting, burning, disordered eating and how to commit suicide videos and misguided tutorials. During the summer of 2013, Tumblr, in response to some published criticism announced that they were in the process of addressing and removing some of these postings. Time will tell.
Next article: Pay Attention To These Warning Signs