Why Parents Should be Concerned with their Teens Using Whisper
Secrets have always been a social delicacy, and sociologists have long studied the spreading of rumors and secrets and their affect on society. With the dawning of the Internet age, ideas and trends grow on a global scale, and massive audiences can be generated with today’s basic technological tools. Smartphones and tablets have become personal portable broadcast stations with many users making amateur mistakes as they go along.
Touchscreens and wireless Internet access make it possible to do virtually anything from almost anywhere in an instant. New ideas for social interaction are formed daily, and there are thousands of apps available for download and usage on any iPhone or iPads, or any Android smartphone or tablet. One app which has gained popularity followed by notoriety is appropriately named Whisper. We will discuss what this app is about as well as outline some of the topics which parents should look out for.
What is Whisper?
Whisper allows users to post questions, statements and confessions to the public as text or pictures and also send private messages to other users in an environment where providing one’s true identity is optional. Public posts are known as whispers and are made public so that other users can freely leave a message (public or private) on the post and like or comment on a post or image. It’s an online virtual space that is similar to a wall covered in graffiti.
How Whisper Works.
Whisper gives users the ability to speak their mind in the form of a short burst of text on top of a photo or simple text without a photo. Unlike Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook, users are not required to give up personal details to use this platform.
Currently, Whisper has 20 million users, with nearly 3 million visits every day. Users come from more than 180 countries, making it a platform for secrets to be shared internationally. Particularly entertaining Whisper users post immensely popular photo memes or jokes that form a subculture of people from all over the world seeking entertainment of the same sort.
Whisper allows user to search contents that have been posted nearby. Whisper accesses each device’s GPS location whenever it whispers to give users the ability to see secrets from other users nearby, much like hearing an actual whisper. This turns into a game of who can write the nastiest things on the bathroom wall, and has resulted in some dangerous and overwhelming social dilemmas.
Why parents should be concerned about their kids using this app.
With all the emotions running through kids, anonymous outlets such as Whisper have proven to be dangerous because they give users the opportunity to use foul language or spew hatred. Therefore, the contents on this app are usually dark, mostly enveloped with insecurity, substance abuse, depression or sexually explicit.
Whisper also has a Meet Up section that gives users the space to share personal information. Meeting strangers online on the basis of a secret-sharing site is assuredly a recipe for disaster. In today’s technological world, parents must learn to be tech savvy so that they know what the right choices should be for their children. Apps that share GPS location or allow for secret photo sharing or secret texts should be at the top of the list for concern when any parent provides their child with a smartphone or tablet.
Parents often provide their child a smartphone or tablet with some caution. There are many benefits to providing their child with a smartphone for keeping in touch, helping with schoolwork, navigation or any other countless good things that come from having an iPhone or Android smartphone. Problems from using smartphones or tablets usually come from children who use the devices irresponsibly and parents who did not understand how their children were using the device.
One of the first things parents can do to make sure that their children are using smartphones wisely is to get an understanding on how the devices are being used. Get set up with the same apps, create a Facebook and a Twitter and ask questions on how to use the app. It doesn’t have to be enjoyable, but learning about how the app works and seeing the general theme of what is being shared publicly within any online community is always something that parents want to look out for.
Monitoring software is a good way for parents to hold their children accountable for individual device usage without the need to physically check up on each device every day. With software such as PhoneSheriff installed on the devices their kids use, parents can log in from anywhere to check on device locations and activities. Parents will be able to see calls made and review text messages. PhoneSheriff can give parents the ability to block websites, contacts or prevent their child from running certain applications. Time restrictions can be placed so that the phone does not distract them at night or when they are supposed to be at school. Parents who stay involved will find that their children often make good decisions. Peace of mind comes from knowing instead of being concerned.