Are you okay with your kid doing a little socializing online? Have you ever given a thought to the possibility of them chatting for hours on various apps? While you think that, they are only playing games, studying, or just watching some animated movie. Perhaps you need to discuss a few things or rules with them before they venture into the phenomenon we call “chatting”.
Just to enlighten you, direct messaging is supported by most of the sites and online platforms. Parents are usually the last ones to know that. Because still, most of them are a little challenged technically. Also, chatting apps offer audio and video calls too. Every modern house today has a steady subscription to Frontier bundles or an internet package from dozen other ISPs in town. And every kid owns his own gadget, sometimes multiple gadgets.
Chatting is not necessarily bad. Kids are also social creatures like us adults. In fact, they are more social than adults are. They will connect with others. Kids usually support each other, therefore, these connections can be great for their well-being. But to guide and protect them, you need to know what they are doing. Because direct messaging or chatting does carry some risks. Make sure they are using them responsibly and safely. Also, the settings of these apps should be appropriate. And lastly, balancing the screen time is also significant.
We are going to discuss some chatting apps and platforms, which may be used by your kids. And you may have not realized it.
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Top 7 Apps/Sites Kids Use for Chatting
- Animal Jam.
- Google Docs.
Let’s know a little more about these.
Signing up for this virtual world only requires a password and a username. And it doesn’t require any approval from parents. This app supports chatting. You may use the human monitors and filters that the app offers to keep a lid on those iffy conversations. But you should know that our kids are more advanced than us and they can be quite inventive and get around them.
If you are going to let them play it, you should probably register with an email address. And then you can access the free parental controls.
This one may surprise you. Although teachers are already aware of the problem involved. Google Docs is extensively been used as a covert texting app. The popularity of its chatting feature has made it to the radar of parents. If your kids are using Google Docs to do their homework, all they need to do is to share the document with someone they want to chat with. Using the chatting feature while trying to do homework would waste their productive time.
Some kids have reported cyberbullying on this forum by other kids as well. You don’t want your kid to get into idle chitchat or bullying. Therefore, you need to keep an eye on the content of their chats. If it is getting out of hand, just remove others from the shared document.
Some older kids are network-minded and they are good at making connections with influencers, potential employers, and recruiters. LinkedIn is the favorite forum for such aspiring youngsters. But, in addition to sharing the details of their work history and resume, they can message anyone they are connected to. LinkedIn has a variety of privacy settings. You can encourage your kids to hide their last name and email address. You will have to decide the suitable settings for them according to their interests, needs, and maturity level. Also, educate them that chatting on LinkedIn has to be professional and nothing beyond that.
If Instagram is taking a lot of your kid’s time, perhaps they are using it for chatting. If your kid is using Instagram, it would be best if they use the browser version. Chatting is not supported on it. If they are using it on phone or tablet, it’s good to make use of the restrictive and privacy settings. You can limit the number of people who can contact your kid. You can also change the settings like making your kid’s account private and preventing people to reply to his stories. You can also turn off the comments. The lesser the distraction, the better.
Roblox is emerging as a happening hangout app with over 90 million monthly active users. It encourages connection and collaboration. It also offers a chatting feature to all its members. Players, who are younger than the age of 12 have strong filters. You can also turn off chatting and some other options to limit their conversations. You can also lock the settings using a PIN code. This way your kids will not be able to change those settings.
It is mapping app. it relies on traffic data as well as people to find routes to different places and avoid congestion. And yes, it also offers chatting facility. And not about traffic only. Waze connects via Facebook. It also allows your kids to see where their friends are. Since the app reveals the location of your kids, they can be exposed to potential risks.
Even the name indicates that it is about snaps and chat. The app gained more popularity for its innovative feature of “disappearing messages” after the recipient has viewed them. And of course, its cool and fancy photo filters made it popular. Again, you can play with privacy settings to limit people who can contact your kid and view his stories.
You can try to be watchful but with steady subscriptions of internet packages such as FiOS Internet plans in every household, it is hard to figure out all of their activities. also, they wouldn’t like their parents sneaking all the time. Build a strong connection with your kids and encourage them to share everything with you. That’s the best way to go about it!