Thursday, April 7, 2016

Love or Hate Social Media Addiction

Social media and technology. Love or hate? Well I love because it's given me an outlet to do business from home and form connections I otherwise would not have with my "condition"

 But with a teen. And having many teens and tweens in my house. 


*I hate having meals with their faces in their phones

*I hate that they cannot be far from their devices
* I hate that they think their 24 hour contact with others is the same as real world relationships.
*I hate that the " filters" and over taken selfies do not accurately show who they are or what they look like.
The before selfie/ The filtered taken several times and angling the phone where it gets the most flattering angle, Selfie (no double chin lol)  
*I hate how kids think it's appropriate to send nasty nudes and more just because someone asks 
* I hate that they think " roasting" someone on social media is not the same as bullying.
Flinch Video of Roasting App in use Beware- Language is bad
Do a search of Roast Me on Instagram or Twitter etc.  They have you send them pictures of someone and they will publically roast them.
* I hate that they are allowed to have their devices in class at school and that the teachers seem to just have given up trying to enforce not having them.  (take a random look in classrooms and count how many phones you see in use)
*I hate having to ask myself " do I really want to do this phone check?". Because every time I do my eyes bleed even though most kids are smart enough to delete as they go if you dig deep enough you will see things you wish you had not.

* I love because without my phone checks I may not have ever known this dude at school named k***** sold my son crushed herbs instead of weed. But I hate because my son would not have had the means to make this transaction AT SCHOOL without his phone. 
weed bought at school

*I hate because my kid (and others I know) feel OK to ask and receive inappropriate pics on their devices. I love ( but ewww not really) that phone checks let me know the path they were going down and I could punish accordingly so maybe at some point they see it's wrong g even if they don't want to hear my lecture. And I can see which girls I NEVER WILL ALLOW my son to date or be friends with ( at least while not at school...apparently they can get and do mast anything there) ...
Now. When I do my phone check today please pray my eyes do not pop out as my often too honest
 ( as he is like me and just blurts out things only to regret later lol) and said that he received but does not send...
so I took phone right then to his dismay but have not had the courage to look yet. 
I don't want to let his dad because he has the attitude " boys will be boys and You go son"
 and that is not what I want to encourage. 
Instead I say what if someone was getting pics like that from your daughter's? 
So do you contact parents or authorities with the girls pics or do you just " hope'" their parents find out someday? 
I hate being put in this position as I feel like the town tattle but all the kids that I have contact with say their parents NEVER DO RANDOM PHONE CHECKS! 


You give these kids the power of the world in their hands, you buy the expensive phones, and pay a monthly bill, and then just let them run a muck and hope they aren't falling into any dangerous patterns? 
Or do you just "trust" them? 
Sorry. I don't and even the most seemingly trustworthy is probably doing something on their devices they would not want their parents to see.
If they attend church regularly
If they go on mission trips
If they volunteer
If they are super happy and openly say they would never
no one is immune to peer pressure and making mistakes as a young person.
Its our job to monitor and let them know how to make better decisions and whats right and wrong.
If we never look, you miss that opportunity.
Just a tip:  If you take your childs phone or device- and they leave your site be sure they 
DO NOT HAVE ACCESS to another device!
Why?  Because many apps have now added a feature that DELETES all past info and posts when logged onto a new device.  
Apps are catoring to the demise of our teens.  Helping them to hide their true social media personalities from the parents and care givers.(I will list apps below)

Two weeks ago I stumbled upon some very very disturbing posts in my Instagram feed.  
Im not exaggerating either-  The few people I showed said "Oh my, I never would have thought he/she did that kind of stuff."   But there it was in short 15 second videos and pictures with captions to explain exactly what they were doing so there was no doubt. 
This was the Cover photo on facebook after I looked up the name on that site.  
Amazed by the boldness of these teens and Amazed that no Grown Adult- Authority figure has demanded this kid take this down.  
*We need to Quit turning our heads
*We need to Quit using the excuse of "I did things too when I was young"
*We need to take these sitings Seriously and take action

My son is no Mr. Popularity or the good looking kid all the girls like and girls still want his attention by sending him this crap.. Imagine what the popular, rich, good looking, jocks etc. Are getting from these girls? And then you see my son has no girlfriends - they send him this stuff without even wanting to date  him...that's 
SO LOVE & HATE for me.
PS. I took my son's cheap $29 Windows phone away from him a few months after he got
HIS FIRST At 14 because of what I found during a phone check.  I would give it back and find again so he had nothing. Then he had a good friend who give him an old one he didn't use and that's all he has, just in wifi and no phone service. I'm not paying for my kid to do those things but I let him use that one until I do a check then I ground him from it and he just keeps repeating.... 
Its a vicious cycle I wish I could end.  I know I should just say NO PHONE PERIOD EVER.
But when every kid has one and the schools encourage their use in class by integrating them into classes its hard to do.  I dont want my kid to be the one who does not have and I like having contact when I need it but its really a lose lose situation for us.  
So here goes...let's unlock this bad boy.

What are your experiences with Social Media, Kik, Snapchat, Tinder, and other popular apps kids use daily?
Do you do random phone checks?
Do you find it oddly empty sometimes?
Do you know how to report these videos and posts properly?
(You have a short window as most will have posters remorse and take down by morning)
Do you know who you should report to?
Does your school allow phones out or do they follow a strict no phone policy?
Comment below - We would love to hear your experiences and how you dealt with it.

An empty phone with all texts and messages deleted or "squeaky clean" Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc  pages are a sign something is being hidden 99% of the time.
Many kids have double accounts- one they let their parents see and one they don't.
And Many Many kids I have noticed will have an account and then use it for a couple of weeks then close and make a new one.  It makes it really hard for the parents to keep track and remember log ins.  I will give you some links to popular apps to look for on your teen and tweens phones.
Believe it or not-  kids use the dating apps too and they think nothing of sending a message "Lets Hook Up",  "Wanna F***?", and worse.  How did this happen?  We let it happen.   Parents and adults turn their heads the other way.  Don't say "Its not my kid, its not my problem"  Because in the future it could be- That kid could sell to your kid, that kid may want to date your kid, or worse.  Some parents just are not as internet or app savvy as the others and they may WANT TO KNOW!
I most certainly do.  In fact I will publicly say- (feel free to use)

The Pictures below I found on my Instagram as 15 second video clips-  These are screenshots.  The kids in the pictures are about 10th grade range.
These kids are way beyond where I would have imagined with their drug use and choices.  In the videos they were out driving around as well.  Endangering their own lives and the lives of others.

They are partying in a safe place obviously as the Pot Plants in the background scream no adults care.
I hope any of you that stopped by to read Go Immediately and do a phone check! 

Kik App ( My son uses this because he doesnt have data to text)  Stranger danger is an issue. Kik allows communication with strangers who share their Kikusernames to find people to chat with. The app allegedly has been used in high-profile crimes, including the murder of a 13-year-old girl and a child-pornography case. There's also a Kikcommunity blog where users can submit photos of themselves and screenshots of messages (sometimes displaying users' full names) to contests.  This is one that will log out automatically on current device if logged into from another

Instagram (hot right now) Teens are on the lookout for "likes." Similar to the way they use Facebook, teens may measure the "success" of their photos -- even their self-worth -- by the number of likes or comments they receive. Posting a photo or video can be problematic if teens are posting to validate their popularity.
Tumbler Porn is easy to find. This online hangout is hip and creative but sometimes raunchy. Pornographic images and videos and depictions of violence, self-harm, drug use, and offensive language are easily searchable.
Vine It's full of inappropriate videos. In three minutes of random searching, we came across a clip full of full-frontal male nudity, a woman in a fishnet shirt with her breasts exposed, and people blowing marijuana smoke into each other's mouths.
BurnNote It allows kids to communicate covertly. To discourage copying and taking screenshots, a spotlight-like system that recipients direct with a finger (or the mouse) only reveals a portion of the message at a time.
SnapChat It's a myth that Snapchats go away forever. Data is data: Whenever an image is sent, it never truly goes away. (For example, the person on the receiving end can take a screenshot of the image before it disappears.) Snapchats can even be recovered. After a major hack in December 2013 and a settlement with the FTC, Snapchat has clarified its privacy policy, but teens should stay wary.  It can make sexting seem OK. The seemingly risk-free messaging might encourage users to share pictures containing sexy images.
Whisper  Whispers are often sexual in nature. Some users use the app to try to hook up with people nearby, while others post "confessions" of desire. Lots of eye-catching, nearly nude pics accompany these shared secrets.  Content can be dark. People normally don't confess sunshine and rainbows; commonWhisper topics include insecurity, depression, substance abuse, and various lies told to employers and teachers.
YikYak It reveals your location. By default, your exact location is shown unless you toggle location-sharing off. Each time you open the app, GPS updates your location.
Omgele Users get paired up with strangers. That's the whole premise of the app. And there's no registration required.  Language is a big issue. Since the chats are anonymous, they're often much more explicit than those with an identifiable user might be.
Tinder  This one is very popular- and many are using this as  a Real dating tool- falling in love as teenagers over the internet?  Crazy!  It's all about swipes. You swipe right to "like" a photo or left to "pass." If a person whose photo you "liked" swipes "like" on your photo, too, the app allows you to message each other. Meeting up (and possibly hooking up) is pretty much the goal.  It's location-based. Geolocation means it's possible for teens to meet up with nearby people, which can be very dangerous.