1. Meerkat and Meerkatroulette

    I have been seeing Meerkat pop up a lot lately on the Techcrunch blog (http://techcrunch.com/2015/03/16/meerkatroullette-is-chatroulette-for-meerkat-because-meerkat/?ncid=rss) I follow. I try to keep current with the app world and how it might affect my clients or the children of my clients. When today's headline on the Techcrunch blog stated (Meerkat Roulette is ChatRoulette for Meerkat), I started clicking on things for more information. First some background. Meerkat is a new video streaming app for iOS systems that allows the user to livestream video. It is similar in function to Skype or …Read More

  2. Sexting, Cybersex & 7 year olds

    On March 10, 2015, the Internet Watch Foundation published a report entitled “Emerging Patterns and Trends Report #1: Youth-Produced Sexual Content.” This study was conducted from September to November 2014 by sourcing content from search engines and other online sources. The findings are a bit shocking. The images that the study assessed were broken down into two age categories. 82.5 percent of the sexual images were of adolescents age 16-20 while 17.5% were of children aged 15 or younger. The images were broken down into three categories: (A) images depicting penetrative sexual activity,…Read More

  3. Teens Want Sex and Relationship Advice: FROM THEIR PARENTS

    A study recently published in the BMJ (formerly British Medical Journal) provided excellent insight into what teens are looking for when it comes to sex and relationship education. The study surveyed several thousand men and women aged 16 to 24 and asked them very specific questions about sex and relationship education. The adolescents were asked the following very pertinent questions in the face to face interview: “When you were growing up, in which ways (listed on their survey) did you learn about sexual matters?” “Looking back to the time when you first felt ready to have some sexual …Read More

  4. Keeping Kids Safe on the Internet: Some companies start to get it

    Last week's tech news reported that some companies in the tech/app/web world were starting to implement precautions designed to keep children from accidentally accessing inappropriate or adult content. You Tube announced the launch of YouTubeKids. This is an app available for ios and android platforms specifically designed for kids. The app has kid friendly content such a Jim Henson TV, National Geographic Kids and other kid friendly YouTube shows. The YouTube kids app will filter for kid friendly content algorithmically and will also have a staff team that will manually sample videos on the s…Read More

  5. UPDATE: After School App

      According to the Techcrunch blog (http://techcrunch.com/2014/12/11/after-school-app-again-pulled-by-apple-after-more-school-shooting-threats/) the controversial app, After School was taken off of the app store sometime yesterday. It is unknown at this time if the app will return to the marketplace. This second removal comes after yet another round of issues including several youth using the app to make anonymous threats of violence and shooting. Earlier this week it was reported that a student was arrested in Detroit based on threats. What is becoming more clear is that teens (as well a…Read More

  6. New Anonymous App: After School Cyberbullying Concern

      I have not written about new apps for teens lately, as there have not been any new apps that have come to my attention that warrant too much concern. Today, via the blog techcrunch.com, I learned about the new anonymous social networking app targeted at teens called After School. Unlike its predecessor, Yik Yak, whose target audience was college students, the target audience for the After School app is teens. Therefore, it does not carry a rating of 17+. This makes it accessible to any school age adolescent, be it high school, middle school or grade school. Since the launch of the app i…Read More

  7. What do kids worry about online?

    Most research that I review is written by adults from a very adult perspective.  The research topics are based on adult concerns regarding the effects of cyber bullying, sexting and internet pornography on kids, which makes sense because the scientists who are conducting this research are no longer kids.  However, it stands to reason that the adults might be asking the wrong questions and be concerned about the wrong things.  We might wonder why the scientists don’t just ask the teens themselves. This September, a group of European scientists published a paper in the European Journal of C…Read More

  8. How to reduce your child’s chances of sexting: Lessons from Research

    Recently I wrote about a research study that suggested that we look at sexting in a new framework.  Not as a legal issue but as part of the new “normal” teen emancipation.  Not only did this study provide data to support this theory, it also brought forth some suggestions for reducing sexting in teens based on their outcomes. Teens were less likely to sext if they were not responsible for paying their own phone bill, if they had less peer interactions and if their family used texting as a means of communication.  The authors suggested two potential routes for reducing exposure to sextin…Read More

  9. Why Teens Sext: Social Emancipation through Messaging

     Sexting is in the news nearly every day.  We hear about adults getting arrested for sexting minors or minors getting in trouble for sexting each other. I have even seen news articles where parents turn their own children into the authorities when they find out they have been engaging in sexting.  Our world (or at least the media and the law) view sexting among adolescents as child pornography and a legal issue.  This view, however, does not take into account any differences between consensual and non-consensual sexting.  It also does not take into account the fact that sexting among adol…Read More

  10. Hiding from you: Teens love apps they can hide from parents

    Where there is a will there is a way.  This is something often heard in our office.  When we are dealing with trying to limit a child’s access to sexual content in the digital world or trying to create barriers for accountability for someone with a sexual addiction, we must always remember this!  This is particularly true when dealing with parental controls and teens.  As soon as a parent installs some sort of parental control or filtering software, many a teen is online looking at YouTube to try to figure out how to uninstall the filter or get around it.  Trust me, within minutes, the …Read More