Top 5 Teenagers Apps

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With the smartphone boom, it is great as a parent to be able to track your teenagers and know where they are and what they are doing.  These are the Top 5 Teenagers Apps currently on the market.
  1. instagram-logo-vector-download-i14Instagram- this app reminds of what Twitter would be if people only posted pictures or vidoes and they can be shared on social networking sites like Facebook.    Teenagers take pictures of themselves, their friends and daily activities and post- using hash tags.  You can comment on the pictures and there are many little “games” played on the like TBH (To Be Honest) and DRH (Date, Rate, Hate).  If you ask this mom, this app is monitored quite regularly to make sure pictures are clean and there is no bullying (whether from my kids or others toward my kids.).  On good thing- parents need to know- is that the “profiles” can be private and even if someone follows you, unless you accept their request- the person cannot see your pictures.  I have gotten onto many of my “adoptive daughters” (mine KNOWS better) for posting their phone numbers on pictures.  Instagram is free on iTunes as well as the Google Play Store. (http://reviews.cnet.com/software/instagram-ios/4505-3513_7-35416720.html)  you can login to the app from the computer but you can do anything from the computer- it is strictly an app.
  2. Snapchat-flashy-featuresSnapchat- My daughter and her friends LOVE this app.  She spends her time “snapchatting” her boyfriend while she is texting him or her friends.  With Snapchat, you can take pictures and send them- they disappear and cannot be viewed again after up to 10 seconds.   Snapchat has its good points but I am not a big fan of this app because I am really nosey about what my kids say, send, post and this app does not allow me that luxury.  I limit the people she “snapchats” to limit problems or issues from arising PLUS I am constantly looking into her room and keeping my eye on my kids.  (http://fatherhood.about.com/od/fathers-social-media/p/Snapchattm)
  3. tumblr_logotype_white_blue_512Tumblr- another popular app that teens visit.  Teenagers love to go and look at sayings, get ideas for hair and makeup plus post their ideas.  I have seen funny items and have taken “Tumblr” pictures- you know the pictures where 2 friend’s hands make a heart among other ideas.The app is not too bad but does require monitoring like any other site.  Reviews discuss the pros and cons.  Pros are that it is easy to use, mostly visual, free and great for beginners.  The cons are that there is learning curve, a tin text field and the domain names have to be registered with another provider.  As long as it is monitored it is as harmless as Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.  (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2195458,00.asp).  The app is free on iTunes as well as Google Play Store.
  4. We<3it- this app collects pictures and seems to be similar to Pinterest.  You can browse items others have added, plus add your own.  Also there are “canvases” that you can reorganize as well as add categories.  Teens visit this site more than Pinterest probably because it gives ideas and has sayings that teenagers are looking for.  The site does not seem to be dangerous since there are little “personal” pictures and more items people find they love from the Internet.  http://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/www.weheartit.com rates the site 4 out of 5 stars.
  5. Ask.fm is another popular site among teens and is banned from this house.  The site allows questions and answers to be posted “anonymously”.  The problem with this site is that many questions tend to be personal and there are circumstances of cyber-bullying on this site.   Many of my daughter’s friends use this site and post on Instagram a “link” to their Ask.fm and encourage individuals to post questions and answers to questions.  I have seen bullying take place within this “social network” site and as a parent, do not allow its use.  I encourage other parents to review this app, what their child is posting and what is being posted about the questions asked.  http://www.commonsensemedia.org/website-reviews/askfm
Parents need to understand the popular apps their kids are on and what happens on these apps.  There are so many ways that our children are exposed to different people’s ideas, taste and cultures through these sites but at the same time, it can allow bullying, sexting and other unhealthy ideas to take place.  As a parent, knowing, understanding and being involved- even nosey- in your children’s affairs will help you protect and know what your children are doing when you are not looking.

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