Have you seen links to a website called “vsco.co” in your kid’s Instagram profile or that of their friends? If not you might soon and you’ll be like me, wondering, what the heck is VSCO? As is my nature, I immediately clicked the links, visited the website and downloaded VSCO to see what this photo app is all about. There is limited social interaction here, and little in the way of privacy.
It's hard to keep up with apps that your kids are using. Here you'll find reviews of popular apps such as Snapchat and Instagram, along with others you may not have heard of such as Omegle and Whisper. You'll also find reviews of apps that are helpful and useful for kids, teens and adults.
Flinch is an app by the makers of OoVoo. The premise of this app sounds fun – it’s basically the digital version of a staring contest. The first person who smiles, loses the game. While the technology behind the app is impressive, parents should know that kids using Flinch can stare down with complete strangers.
Here are three apps all parents should have on their radar. Meerkat, Periscope and YouNow are apps used to live-stream video from your phone. More than just recording videos and sending them, with these apps you hit “record” and people can watch you – live. Sound a little scary? A little voyeuristic? A little narcissistic? I thought so too! I downloaded all three to see what they were all about and yes, there are many kids and teens broadcasting their lives.
Snapchat has added a new feature called Discover, which delivers curated content from the likes of CNN, ESPN, People, and Cosmopolitan. Between Discover and the previously added Stories, Snapchat is moving beyond its origins as a disappearing messaging app. Snapchat Discover includes some questionable content for the young teen audience.
I hope that you never find Whisper on your teen’s phone. I could end this article right here! But that wouldn’t be too helpful. If you haven’t heard of Whisper, it is an anonymous sharing app where you can divulge your deepest, darkest secret to an audience of unknown people, and voyeuristically read and respond to their confessions.
Is a tech-free, screen-free vacation possible? As our family gears up for a summer road trip, this question has come to mind. I like the idea of completely un-plugging while on vacation. But at the same time, we are using a number of apps and sites to plan our trip, and will also rely on a few while out on the open road.
Seems like the creators of Snapchat have had a change of heart recently. And perhaps this change was not so much out of the kindness of their hearts, but in reality a “mea culpa” due to FTC charges that Snapchat delivered false promises of forever-disappearing photos. So what does this mean to the many tweens and teens who use Snapchat? Everything shared online, has the potential to stay online, despite claims to the contrary.
I mentioned Yik Yak in my recent post “Not all Apps are for Kids”. This anonymous messaging app is back in the news again due to a story on the Today show. Here are a few things parents should know about this popular anonymous messaging app that is popular on college campuses, but also wreaking havoc in high schools across the country.
I think we’d all agree that one child abduction per year is one too many. Sadly, there were over 258,000 child abductions in the United States in 2011. One recent case was that of Jessica Ridgeway, a ten-year old who was kidnapped on her way to school in 2012 and murdered. The Lassy project app, a child tracking system, was inspired by Jessica’s story. The Lassy app uses the power of a village of neighbors and community members who can receive an “escalated” alert about a possible missing child.
OoVoo is a video chat and messaging app, and is available for iPhone/iPod/iPads and Androids. You can also use OoVoo on a computer (PC or MAC). With OoVoo you can video chat with up to 12 people at a time; you can see four people at once on screen during these video chats. I think this is the feature that kids really like. While kids can use FaceTime on their iPods and iPads, FaceTime only allows for a two-way call. OoVoo will let them have a little video chat party.