Hi, I’m the “Meanest Mom in the World”. That’s what I hear when a take a phone away or delete a new app. Ask me if I care- because I don’t.
(3-21-14 update: feds bust graphic child porn ring, 14 men in Louisiana arrested. The men, pretending to be young girls on popular social sites, enticed young boys to send graphic material, pictures and video. 250 victims in 39 states and five other countries — Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada and New Zealand. Most were boys between the ages of 13 and 15. Two victims were 3 or younger. Sources: huffingtonpost.com, cnsnews.com , rawstory.com. )
Parents, do you know what your kids are doing? The world has offered our children a wide variety of apps and social media outlets that we don’t even know about. They are interrupting our lives, corrupting our kids and sadly have driven many to depression and suicidal deaths. Maybe some of you know what’s up, but when I ask around every mom has given me one of these answers:
What? I never heard of that, my child would never….
I just don’t have time to figure it all out, I don’t understand those things
I can’t control my kids anymore
I didn’t know how to work the iphone, android or any of the other apps either, but I figured it out. I press every single button on everything ( I know what every button on every remote does) and that’s how I figure out what my children are doing. I see what their friends are doing and I know their parents have NO IDEA. So basically, if you have eyeballs and hands with digits, you can find out what your child is up to.
What’s the big deal? They are just kids having fun.
That is not what is going on. I’ve read about classmates wanting to commit suicide, seen indecent pictures, read foul language, bullying and everything you wouldn’t want your child to see or hear- that is what is going on. Parents are in denial and so are the schools. There are ways of hiding the apps so parents don’t see.
Let’s review a few that are popular:
KIK– another social site used to send messages. A LOT of kids have this. Please watch the video below on Kik. Kik allows for other media sites within it. As of November 2012, KIK began a rating of 17+ because of all the apps that connect within KIK that a parent would never know about. It is an app for adults only. Police have alerted parents of the increased incidents of adults finding children through KIK- along with bullying, sexting and graphic porn. (see warning video) Each one of these sites poses a danger. In Kik, anyone with your child’s username or email can find your child. (same with Askfm) This is absolutely not for children, there are no parental controls. It scans all your email contacts also (that so annoys me). With KIK, you don’t need to have a phone number or share your number, but as a parent, it is much easier to monitor the text messages than to find out what is going on in KIK. For more information and dangers click here : TheCyberSafetylady.com Why KiK is unsafe for kids
Danger of Instagram and KIK, thetreenetwork.com
Askfm-“My child doesn’t have that!” That’s exactly what I thought! You’d never know your child had an account unless they told you or you searched the history of your computer (hopefully they don’t know how delete history) On this site, anyone can ask your child anything anonymously. Questions like- why don’t you like so and so and why did you say this to someone along with other personal sexual questions or “are you upset you weren’t invited to a party?”. The children on askfm are 13 and under- and they shouldn’t be here. I’ve seen my daughter’s friend’s questions on this site and I was shocked. They’ve been on it for over a year and when I brought it up with the parents they had never heard of the site and were convinced their child would never be on it. It’s not easy to find your child on there unless you know their username. Most kids use their instagram name. Even if your child isn’t on Askfm, friends gossip about everyone and love to ask personal questions and secrets about their friends. Since it’s anonymous, anyone can pretend to be whoever. An example of a question I’ve seen on this site is “you are stupid and ugly, why don’t you kill yourself?” and maybe add an lol after it. Some will say “why are you so fat and ugly?”. For more information on Askfm: The Cybersafetylady.com Askfm and cyber bullying
hightechdad.com be warned askfm is dangerous (check out his site)
Instagram – It’s like a safe facebook, right? Wrong. For starters, everyone on instagram is trying to out do the other with – who is with who, who has what, and who is at what party. It’s an app “all about me”. Two things that bother me about instagram are #1 it can hurt others and make them feel unworthy (yes it does, it makes it seem like everyone else has a better life) and #2 the hashtags easily open up doors to porn. I saw so much porn on there I couldn’t believe it. Naked pictures all over the place with the simpliest most naïve hashtag. What’s a hashtag? It’s when you want to relate you picture to file like #goodtimes or #fatdays. You click the hashtag and it opens up every pic everyone else has used the same word. Whether you are private or not, it doesn’t matter. Porn is always available. The kids think its great when they have 100’s of likes and followers, but they don’t realize most are (unknown male) adults following them (and probably storing their pictures). You cannot control the comments people make on your pictures, there are no parental controls, anyone can use your picture and store it. It gets grosser- (pedophile warning) but for more information on the dangers of instagram check out :Babble.com A Parent’s guide to social media and Quiz- Are you smarter than a 5th grader on instagram?
***if your have your child delete their account, keep watch because many open a new account under a new name without their parents seeing. I’ve seen this with Instagram and twitter.
SnapChat- this is a sexting app for kids- although they don’t originally think so- but you don’t need to think too much to figure it out. Do you know what snapchat is? It looks so innocent. Snapchat is a way to send pictures and short video but it is immediately deleted- so no one can see it, trace it, copy it, prove they sent it or saw it. The parent has NO IDEA what their child just saw or read. I happened to open one of my daughters snap chat and the girl had called her a “bitch”. If you go on snapchat and try to see anything they opened- you can’t. It only has a 1-10 second viewing time so you can’t share or take a picture of it. What the point of this? It keeps parents out of their business and gives them complete privacy to do whatever they want. For more information: Ottawa Police Warn Teens about dangers of snapchat and nbc-2.com New Snapchat app worrying parents
According to the site : “Wattpad is a place to discover and share stories: a social platform that connects people through words. It is a community that spans borders, interests, languages. With Wattpad, anyone can read or write on any device: phone, tablet, or computer.”
Wattpad sounds like a great idea, but there are NO FILTERS on language or the sexual filth that the kids are reading. Unbelievable! I couldn’t find any information or warnings out there on this, but I can tell you that I just read a chapter that my young teen was reading and I’m furious. I thought she was reading a book she had on her kindle and here she is reading garbage some nobody out there is writing – full of f-word, sexuality and it goes as far as the imagination will go. The kids can read this on their phones, kindles or any thing that has internet access. They can pretend they are reading a book and quickly delete the history and what they’ve just read.
Wattpad would be a good idea in a sinless perfect world. I’ve read that most of the writers and readers are under 17. I cannot believe there are not more warnings out there on this. What is this world going to come to with all garbage going into the minds of our youth??????????????? I mean, we already have teens suicidal, depressed and people trying to eat each other. Just last month a man bit a half a ladies face off, what are my
kids going to see in another 20 years? Fanfiction is similar to Wattpad, but on fanfiction they write about their fantasies they have about their idols, bands, bieber, one direction, blah, blah, blah. I can’t take the stupidity here much longer…. You do know they get carried away with this stuff, I mean one guy married a cartoon figure he was in love with. For more information: Meansstotheend.wordpress.com PARENTS BEWARE
Qoohme: This is site similar to Askfm. Anyone who finds you interesting can ask you anything. It is not supposed to be for children, but children and adults are both there alongside each other. Check out the site linked here and see the comments, you will understand the dangers more clearly: BarrieBramley.com If you’re a parent, you had better know Qoohme
Twitter: I haven’t seen a lot of twitter, personally I never understood it. If it’s more than a waste of time for your kids, someone fill me in. Twitter has addicts, but so does facebook. Twitter is old news, like Tumblr (microbloggin) Hohum. Next!
Youtube- beware of youtube addictions. I thought my daughter was researching and doing homework and she was actually watching hours of Lizzie Mcquire. Porn and inappropriate videos easily pop up in searches. For more information on Youtube: Advice for Parents-Youtube and your kids; commonsensemedia.org
and Parentingteens.about.com Dangers of Youtube , dailydot.com Catch child predator pedophile youtube
Oovoo—I’m still learing about this. I took my daughters phone away because it was distracting her and I find out she’s been on oovoo for three hours on my laptop video chatting with her friends when she told me she was studying. Seriously, I’m mad. You know why? Because the computer and phones are stealing our children away from us. (sounds like voodoo) Police have sent out warnings on oovoo because the children are easy targets for online predators. They can contact your child through text. Computer virus and malware problems have been reported with oovoo downloads . For more information read:Internetsafetyproject.org Oovoo and articlesbase.com Should my teen be using oovoo Dioceseofbmt.org Safeenvironment parent training
Vine: Short videos. Vine is rated 17+ because of the Innapropriate content: language, sex, nudity, sex, drugs and more. It is supposed to be for ages 17 and up, but kids age 8 and up are using it. Easy for strangers to see videos posted. It’s a microversion of youtube. From the Cybersafetylady.com: “Dangers: Your child may attract with adults who will follow the child’s account, find out where the video was taken, via location services or Geo Location. Share the video with their networks. There is quite a bit of Porn on the App. Within 15 minutes of scrolling through the most popular video feed, a video of a erect penis literally “popped” up on my screen. Abuse in comments. No parental controls. Lots of swearing and rude videos.”
Facebook– Do I really need to go here. Has facebook benefited you child in any way? If not, delete it. It certainly does not Honor God. I’m not going to touch the stupidness of facebook because everyone should know that by now. ( I read a survey that said 25% of all users check their facebook more than 5x a day and 85% of all women on facebook are annoyed at another woman on facebook –lol!!!! It’s a waste of your time)…and yes, stupidness is a word. Teen suicide www.wnd.com Rebecca Sedwick bullying death October 17 2013 Texas teen suicide – watch out for suicidal warnings nydailynews.com
*****see stats below for suicide rates among teens*****
Keek: Is really for ages 17+ and children 13+ must have permission. This is a video sharing app. Dangers and more information from the Cybersafetylady.com :Adults can subscribe to your child’s updates, view all their content and find out where they live through Geo Location. Comment on their video’s. No privacy settings or restrictions to adult content. NOT for kids. No parental controls. -Update: 16th June 2013:The Local Area Police here on the Northern Beaches Sydney Australia, spoke at my recent cyber safety edu talk, they informed us that Kik Messenger was now the social media app that was causing them the most problems. Parents and schools have been contacting the police about Kik messenger and Instagram reporting incidents of pedophile approaches and bullying, including young children setting up “Fake” accounts to humiliate and bully other young children. Both these apps were being used more frequently by under aged kids, and they were seeing increased problems in primary schools ”
The source and information on the following 4 social sites from: Lela Davidson at today.com “Moms you oughta know…”
Reddit Reddit users submit links or text, which are voted up or down by other users. Content is ranked to determine the post’s position on the front page. All the content is organized into categories known as “sub-reddits.” This site is more popular with boys, who are using the app less as a social network than as a source of news and as a search engine. The forum-like interaction means your teen can “talk” to anyone.
PheedPheed allows users to share all forms of digital content in 420 character or less. Teens are the primary users of Pheed, which is one of the top apps in the iPhone store. Each user gets their own channel where they can post their content publicly or privately. In addition to the social media aspects like Facebook, Pheed is a full service broadcast medium. Users can share audio tracks and live broadcasts. Your teenager could conceivably live-stream every waking moment on Pheed. I think we’ve all seen that episode of “Law & Order.” Users can also charge for access to the channel. A profit motive and under-developed judgment? What could possibly go wrong?
WaneloWanelo — which stands for “Want, need, love” — is Instagram-meets-shopping and the dream app of many teenage girls. Users post images of and links to products, which are then bought, saved, tagged and shared by other users. When enough users tag a product, a store page is created. Users can follow stores and get updates when new products from those stores are posted. Wanelo is a wonderful tool to find out exactly what your 14-year-old daughter wants for her birthday. Serious threats to your bank balance here.
4Chan4chan is a simple forum platform. Anyone can post images on bulletin boards, and anyone can comment. Similar to Reddit, the boards are dedicated to a variety of topics, but here users do not need to create an account to participate in the community. Anonymity can create extremely hostile environments online, so if your teenager is using 4chan, you’ll want to have conversations about how to deal with virtual aggression.
1 in 6 admits to sexting(admits only) for more information: mpoweredparent.com
stats from: Zillydilly.com:
· 53% of teens who sext are girls, 47% are guys
· 48% of teens report they have received a sexually suggestive message
· 39% of teens have sent a sext
· Teens who have sexted a nude or semi-nude picture of themselves – 22% girls, 18% guys
· 11% of girls aged 13-16 have sexted nude or semi-nude photos of themselves
· Most teens sext their boyfriend/girlfriend, but many also sext crushes, friends and even people they don’t know
TEEN SUICIDE: statisticbrain.com teen suicide info from CDC 4600 children commit suicide each year, 157,000 are medically treated for self inflicted injuries, 81% are male- based on ages 10-24.
WHAT DO I DO?
What can be done about it? You can try to put stops and filters on everything, but doesn’t that seem like a lot of work? Besides, the kids know how to get around that. Take their phones away after school and when they don’t need it. Keep a watchful eye on every text and email that goes through. Get them involved in sports, clubs or something to distract them from the social media addictions.
Do you think you owe your kids privacy? It’s our business and our responsibility to raise and teach our children, to protect them and watch over them. They have the rest of their lives to live in privacy but under my roof- for the few years I have left – I watch them and protect them. That’s our job. Sure, it’s not “politically correct” . This world would want you to give the kids all the freedom they want. They can have an abortion under your roof and you have no right to know. As a Christian, we are taught to be different, to be a new creation, to be of the Word and not of the World.
Above all else, guard your (child’s) heart,
for everything you (they) do flows from it.
Keep your mouth free of perversity;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your(their) feet
and be steadfast in all your (their) ways.
(Teach them) To not turn to the right or the left;
(Help them) keep your (their) foot from evil.
Guard their hearts. Do your best to watch over what they see, do and where they go.
Keep them on the right path.
I’ve read that colleges are now checking student’s online social media’s posting -new and old. Get in their business. I know a lot of parents won’t agree with me, but for those of you who listen and who care- find out what they are watching on youtube, tv, the music they are listening to and what they are reading and learning in school. My daughter told me that her book for reading class is not allowed to come home and there are no notes I can review on what she is learning. She told me she is reading about a pregnant teenager this week and last week and the week before they read stories about Glee and homosexuality. This is all part of the “common core” reading. Glee? Are you kidding me? With all the millions of books out there, my kids is studying Glee. Common Core is creating American Zombies – all believing the same thing with no thought process of our own. Islam is being taught yearly with lies deceiving all the kids. I don’t want my kids to be American Zombies. Take a stand and do something. I know one parent who has every text his daughter receives sent straight to his phone. I think that is a great idea. I have caught my daughter deleting texts and I know drama is going on. I want to be there to help and guide her. I’m not standing over her as a tyrant, but to guide her in her ways and show her how to handle situations the right way before they get out of hand. ‘Many parents are unaware of the amount of time their children are online. Statistics show 52 percent of children spend 5 or more hours a day online. 58% of tweens say they know how to keep their online use a secret and a quarter admitted they had cleared or hidden what they have done online’ For more information: Stats from Reuters.com Social Media and Tweens