Your Child Might Be Using These Dangerous Anonymous Apps
An anonymous smartphone app is an application that allows users to post anonymous messages back and forth without the need for direct knowledge of who it is they were talking to. Anonymous apps look for thoughts and ideas from others without the traditional involvement found in chatting with someone face-to-face. Sometimes people use anonymous messaging platforms on smartphones as a form of entertainment, to not only read others’ thoughts, but to create discussions with untold numbers of strangers in a way that has never been as easy as it is right now.
Whenever your child installs any new app to their smartphone or tablet, you must follow up with what the app is used for and why your child is using it. There are many yet unnamed smartphone applications to look out for, so learning what each application is used for will provide the right perspective for discerning whether or not your child should be using it. Much of the Internet and web-based applications are designed with adults in mind. Usually, keeping children away from explicit or derogatory material has been left to the honor system. There are different kinds of apps that present different kinds of dangers, but knowing some of the most popular names will help in categorizing any future app they come up with next.
Here are a few anonymous applications for smartphones that are considered dangerous for children to use.
If you have ever been in a public toilet facility, you have probably seen a few anonymous quips and other artwork scribbled with permanent markers. YikYak is the virtual equivalent of that real life experience. You will notice this app by seeing an icon logo of a long horned Yak bull, likely foreshadowing the type of excrement that will be found scribbled in the anonymous posts you will find. YikYak can take bathroom-stall messaging to a whole new level. In addition to gaining attention to a wider audience, YikYak is also used as a way to chat privately with other users as well.
The problems for teenagers when they use YikYak can vary. On one hand, bullies could spread hurtful rumors or taunt those who they oppress. On the other hand, there could be accidental and intentional exposure of sensitive personal data. Like finding your number on a Good Time phone listing on a bathroom stall, harassment can come from many directions from countless people who have never even met you. YikYak is supposedly used for entertainment purposes, but teens who use the app will most likely get the wrong kind of message about how they are supposed to treat people in the real world. Bathroom stall vandals are probably not the kind of influential people your children should be soaking in knowledge from.
For those questions you’re not comfortable asking those who know you, ask.fm is the online solution. Without showing your face, you can ask all of the questions that have been weighing heavy on your mind and get answers from people on the outside looking in. The app is used for many adults as a way to find solutions outside of their normal way of thinking, but often the answers they find are not the kinds of answers they are looking for. Ask.fm gives users the ability to browse through questions and provide their take on the subject without giving away who they are as well.
This app is not to be used by gullible people or those who would consider bad advice as viable options. There are users of ask.fm who search for questions and then provide some of the most maniacal answers they can think of. Bullies who know that a particular person is using the app to browse for questions might find ways to ask extremely personal questions in a way that they don’t even know they are being harassed. The problem with teens using the ask.fm app is that many admit to strangers that they are mentally unstable, and strangers will take advantage of this knowledge by intentionally giving them bad advice to cause more instability.
Whisper is an app that is used to post secret confessions when you want to tell the whole world something, just not anyone who actually knows who you are. Like professing ones undying true love from the shadows, the Whisper app provides relief to its users by letting them get away with saying the things that they want to say but do not feel they have the luxury to say out loud or to the people around them. While some might argue that venting ones stresses by sharing that stress in words is a good way to manage stress, others would say that promoting this behavior to be anonymous like with the Whisper app would encourage a lack of principles or confidence in oneself to address the matter in a traditionally healthy way.
Children have run into problems using the Whisper app, especially when other kids from school figure out who is using the app and who has been posting dirty secrets. The app can end up becoming a sort of slam book where the secrets users share are actually insults aimed at the way someone looks, acts or performs on many different personal levels. Posting a secret for others to learn about is not the best way to keep a secret, but children should not be practicing the art of secrecy anyways. This app leads to harsh gossip and false rumors to the point that parents should be concerned if they find that their child is using and anonymous app such as Whisper. By learning how children are using smartphones and tablets, parents can evaluate the apps that their child has installed and determine if it is needed or even appropriate for a child to be spending time with.
As parents, we have the responsibility to make sure that our children are being safe when it comes to using online devices such as a smartphone or tablet. The primary purpose most families decide that their child is ready for a smartphone or tablet is that the devices make it easy for parents and their children to stay connected and they also provide the children with an enormous wealth of scholarly knowledge right at their fingertips. Entertainment and social media take a back seat to these priorities, and regular attitude checks on how children are using the devices will give parents an idea about dangerous smartphone apps their children are using as well as if they have been using their smart devices responsibly.
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