We wrote a post a while back about one of the many issues with anonymous app Yik Yak, and a reader attempted to post the comment below. We didn’t actually approve the comment so it doesn’t appear on the site. We wanted to address it in a blog post instead.
First, it doesn’t really matter that the post commented on was about Yik Yak; many of the things we write revolve around the themes of internet safety and responsibility for teens a and pre teens. The post could have been about Ask.fm or social media age limits or cyberbullying.
The comment in question:
“I don’t think y’all understand that anti-bullying messages have near to no effect and really just makes you seem like a priest. Apps like this are for fun, and having parents preaching about things and looking through our phones just puts more distance between us.”
Is this commenter really a teen? Probably but it’s not that important. She wants us to butt out and leave the fun apps alone for teens.
We are not going to do that.
Earlier this year, when Yik Yak was just becoming popular, few people who aren’t die-hard early app adopters had heard of it. Included in this group who hadn’t heard of it were most parents, who are busy with jobs, raising kids and generally getting on with their lives. The people who knew about Yik Yak were the high school and college kids who were flocking to it.
We do what we to in order to facilitate better parenting. When it comes to digital parenting, conversations between parents and teens are the first step. If parents aren’t aware of the risks that are out there – including which apps are available and popular among teens, it is impossible to have meaningful conversations.
To the teens out there who are using anonymous apps to have fun at no one’s expense, please carry on. A lot of teens on Yik Yak and similar apps, sites and networks are unfortunately up to no good. We think that parents need to hear it.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.
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