by Dr. Dale Wisely, All In Mountain Brook
For awhile, we kept a list on this website of apps that were just plain bad for kids and teenagers.A some point, the number of new apps was increasing at a rate that made it impractical for us to keep up. Fortunately, we have Josh Ochs and his website. This site has a list of apps Josh considers safe, a list of bad apps, and a list of apps that might be appropriate for teens, but not for younger kids.
I’m reluctant to declare any social media apps as safe or “OK” because all have potential for abuse. Even email. I’m more willing to say that some apps are just plain bad, in the sense that, for whatever reasons, they have been especially notorious for misuse by young people.
Here are a couple of key points.
When it comes to social networking, anonymous equals bad. The more private and anonymous it is, the more room for trouble.
We cannot give our kids these sophisticated devices and then relinquish responsibilityfor what they do with them. Ultimately, no one can be more effective for supervising, monitoring, and guiding teenagers in this than their parents.
At present, there are two apps that are in extremely wide use among youth, including in Mountain Brook. These are Instagram and Snapchat. Neither is on my list of Bad Apps. Click here for more about this.
In the meantime, have a look at Josh Ochs’ continuously updating parent app guide.