Text messaging is a key ingredient for day to day interaction for teens.
The majority of teens spend 55% of their day texting friends. Studies report that boys between ages 15 and 17 are more likely to met new friends online than girls.
There are different forms of communication for teens
- In person
- Talking on the phone
- Social Media Sites
- Video Gaming
- Instant Messaging
Researchers report that 42% of teens are using messaging apps such as Kik, Whats App, & Viber!
Kik App is a messenger app that is about fun and for the younger crowd such as students or folks that want to have fun with their conversations, plus there are already a lot of users on Kik. Kik, unlike other messaging apps, offers their currency called Kik points that allow you to buy special emoticons and stickers. This allows users to enjoy the app without a monthly charge. Kik does not allow location adding or contact features, which older folks find useful. The lack of this allows teens to talk yet there is no encryption, leaving them vulnerable to online predators. A second concern is that adults can set themselves up as children and attempt to talk to your child.
Whats App has been around for a few years it allows users to make phone calls, send text, files, and pics for free for the first year then .99 thereafter. This app is great for international calls yet due to its age there are thousands of users that teens can chat with. Whats app also integrates with Facebook, so other Facebook users who use Whats App can text, talk, and send pics. There is a low level of encryption; this still leaves conversations and photos sent vulnerable, although it is great for those who already know their friends, and for those who want to make international calls.
Viber is a neat app it has been out for awhile and has a low amount of users as compared to the Kik app. Viber allows you to make and receive text, call and video calls for free for those who already use the app. However, if the individual does not use Viber, you will have to pay to call landlines and those who do not use Viber. Viber offers a wide assortment of free features. There is also a high level of encryption that allows for more secure messaging for teens. Finally, this app would be best for this who message, talk, and conduct video calls on a regular basis.
As parents, we want to keep our kids safe online and teach them safe ways to communicate with their friends and family. It’s understandable that technology will only evolve, and teens will continue to use their devices I’d love to hear from you if you’ve question in a specific area regarding online or mobile safety.
Leave a comment below or email me at Sarah@parentsguidetogaming.com
Ps: Take the first step to healthy gaming habits and download your copy of How to Painlessly Remove Devices from Your Child’s Bedroom Today.