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What social networking apps do your DC's use...

(30 Posts)
DumSpiroSpero Sat 08-Mar-14 18:30:38

... and how old are they?

What issues/problems have you encountered with social networking apps as a parent?

I am a parent governor at DDs school, and our recent Ofsted report has flagged up that we do not have adequate provision in place for teaching the children and parents about appropriate use of the internet/social networking/cyber bullying etc.

I'd like to get involved with sorting this out as I deal with social networking at my place of work, but I have no idea what apps older children and teens use beyond the usual FB & Twitter (have heard of Snapchat & Whats App but don't really know anything about them).

Also have a vested interest as DD will be 10 this year so it's probably only a matter of time before she starts showing an interest. She only has a very basic mobile with no camera or internet access but does have an iPad.

Any info/opinions much appreciated,

Nocomet Sat 08-Mar-14 18:45:04

DD1(16) face times her best friends for hours, wants FB for a few very specific mainly hobby related reasons and I guess to talk to said DFs. (DFs are day girls and FB boarder mates in the holidays, otherwise I'm sure their DM wouldn't be keen).

DD1 (and DD2) go to a very ordinary comp. and DD1 has alway maintained she gets enough crap in school, so avoids social media.

DD2(13) has had KIK since primary and set up her own instargram and snapchat accounts and has umpteen google mail addresses. Since I've never got a sniff of any nastiness I keep out of it.

DH almost certainly could spy (he's a geek by profession), but DD2 is the sort of child who does talk if she feels comfortable and clams up totally if she thinks your prying.

DumSpiroSpero Sat 08-Mar-14 19:06:38

Never heard of KIK?!confused

And tbh the only people I know who use SnapChat are my 30 & 40 something colleagues!

I clearly have my work cut out for this project (not least getting this thread moved to Chat as I've not even managed to post it in the right place blush ).

dementedma Sat 08-Mar-14 19:20:32

Older dds use FB
All dcs use whatsapp to communicate with me and dh when they are out and about.(ages 23 down to 12)
Think dd2 uses instagram.

dementedma Sat 08-Mar-14 19:21:11

Oh, dc2 and 3 also use Twitter

Cuxibamba Sat 08-Mar-14 19:28:38

My eldest likes Instagram. My nieces (both 15) like Twitter, Instagram and FB, but the latter only rarely.

IloveJudgeJudy Sat 08-Mar-14 19:32:09

SnapChat, Instagram, Kik, WhatsApp and FB, oh, and Twitter. DC are 19/17/15.

ihatethecold Sat 08-Mar-14 19:33:21

My dd10 uses Instagram and KIK
She also face times her best mate.

My ds14 occasionally uses Facebook

littlewhitebag Sat 08-Mar-14 19:36:24

If they have Blackberry's then BBM is what they will use.

Anonymousy Sat 08-Mar-14 19:38:03

Mine are 20, 19 (both at university) and 17 (Lower VI); they all use Snapchat, twitter and Instagram plus whatsapp. Very rarely use Facebook anymore. Rarely as in no more than every couple or three months.

nooka Sat 08-Mar-14 19:40:43

ds only uses Skype so he can chat to his mates whilst playing on the computer. He met most of them on xbox live but they've all moved over to strategy games. It's slightly weird to have got to know kids from across the States as I wave to them all in passing (he has a little box on screen with their webcams).

dd is currently mostly using Tumblr and Wattpad, with a little bit of FB and Facetime (FB she's only just been allowed to use since she turned 13). She has also used instagram but I think not snapchat.

ds has managed a few challenging situations fairly well (he is quite righteous so has booted a few people out of his network for being racist, homophobic etc). I have no real worries on his behalf.

dd has had issues, mainly in the past when her group were using a hotmail IM type service and there was some pretty nasty stuff going on. One advantage is that we got to see it, so it was much easier to take print outs and go and talk to parents and school. We also discovered she was using some dodgy chat site a while back (one that was supposedly set up for teenagers to talk to celebs). Our general control was having all tech in our living room so that we could see what was going on and talking (a lot!) about potential issues and how to manage situations.

At school they are pretty hot on stuff, involve the police early and tend not to say that outside of school is none of their concern. Recently there was an issue with photos being exchanged, the boys involved were all suspended, police called and they have all been charged with some sort of underage sexting charge. The school also brought in experts to talk to both the kids and parents. I have to admit my two just said that sending your photo to anyone was really stupid, which is right, but a bit unsympathetic.

TidyDancer Sat 08-Mar-14 19:43:20

DS is 8 and DD is 3 so they use nothing! I have friends with similar aged DCs to DS who are allowed though. hmm

nooka Sat 08-Mar-14 19:43:33

To be honest I'm not sure you need to know what apps are being used, as they change very quickly. Generally regardless of the media it's all about not saying nasty stuff, remembering it lasts forever and being really really careful about photos. Oh and for parents I think the big thing is to talk to your children and teach them how to use the stuff carefully and what to do when things go wrong. I'm not an advocate of spying (my dh is also a serious geek who could no doubt set up complicated surveillance, but we really don't want to)

Topseyt Sat 08-Mar-14 19:44:29

Instagram, KIK and WhatsApp seem to the the real "in" ones for my girls now. They do also use FB and Twitter, but maybe less now than they used to.

As the parent of a child who has been cyber bullied though, you do need to be vigilant. I think that parents should not just be their child's "friend" or "follower" on these sites, but should also have the passwords so that you can see everything that is going on. I don't mean that I like to snoop. I am very uncomfortable with it, but believe me the results of such bullying can be devastating for all involved, and I speak from the experience of seeing it in my daughter.

I have heard that there is an app called "zipit" (I think), which can be downloaded from Childline onto children's phones, to give them good responses to deal with bullies or unsolicited contacts. Could be worth investigating.

As a parent, it is very difficult. I feel overwhelmed by all of this sort of thing, and it seems there is another new site or app almost every week (well, feels like it anyway) and I am always lumbering along in my children's wake trying to understand. They seem to understand something almost before it has even come out.

BumpyGrindy Sat 08-Mar-14 20:41:01

DD is ten this year and has a phone with a camera and with internet access but it is very heavily policed. She texts a few friends but that's it.

She's not allowed on FB or Instagram though she has mentioned both....I have told her that she won't be going on ANY of these sites till at least 13....I have NO fears about her being "left out". She's better left out than exposed to shite on the internet.

BumpyGrindy Sat 08-Mar-14 20:44:08

Oh I meant to say....I have let DD open a Pinterest account last week. I think it's a good and safe way to learn a bit more about social networking....I'm currently explaining how it works in a business sense....showing her how websites selling things open Pinterest accounts and use them to get people onto their pages....I've also explained this about FB and Twitter...I want her to understand this side of things before she realises that you can bitch about your "friends" on them and share dodgy pics....that way her view of them will be coloured differently than a child who has only seen them used for gossip.

ilikeyourface Sat 08-Mar-14 20:50:17

Dd is 14 and has twitter and tumblr. She used to have instagram and facebook but deleted as she stated she got sick of everyone from school on it and would rather follow interesting people. Had no problems

Ds is 10 mainly facetimes and texts his friends and goes on his headset thingy on his ps3. The only problems had is when him and some strangers end up screaming at each other when they're on call of duty or grand theft auto or something

ThreeBeeOneGee Sat 08-Mar-14 20:51:35

DS1 (14) looks at Facebook most days and Twitter about once a week. He tried Tumblr (sp?) but it didn't last.

The others are under 13 and don't use social media yet, unless you count Moshi Monsters or Club Penguin.

ThreeBeeOneGee Sat 08-Mar-14 20:53:20

DS1 also went through a stage (aged 13) of playing Minecraft with his friends from school while chatting to them using Skype.

ilikeyourface Sat 08-Mar-14 20:54:26

Oh forgot to mention dd religiously snapchats. We cant bloody watch tv know a days without her pausing it so she can take a picture to send to whoever

Annunziata Sat 08-Mar-14 20:59:39

Mine have Twinder or something, what's that?

ThreeBeeOneGee Sat 08-Mar-14 20:59:51

The only issue we have had has been on Twitter. DS1 follows various humour-type twitter accounts and sometimes retweets stuff that makes him laugh.
On a couple of occasions, he retweeted jokes without fully understanding what they meant, which could have reflected badly on him. One included a drugs reference that had gone over his head, the other was bordering on disablist but he didn't realise what it meant.

Luckily, DH & I both follow him on Twitter, so we noticed the tweets immediately, explained their meanings to him and he deleted them.

BumpyGrindy Sat 08-Mar-14 21:29:35

ThreeBees similar thing happened to my niece who at TEN is on Facebook hmm She was liking loads of pages and when I looked at their source, it was some page called "Young girls are hottest" or some disgusting thing and was deliberately designed to attract the youngest users of was all quizzes like "Who do you like best Harry or Liam"? and "Like this if your BFF's name begins with E!"

SUCH a nasty page it was....there were loads of pics of young girls in their swimsuits etc...very close to the bone. I warned my sister but she didn't fully grasp the import.

Your son's sharing things like that will be stored and it is things like this which potentially could be found by future employers. Sounds far fetched but as a freelancer I always do a social media search of any potential clients before I work with them and I bet they look for me too.

DumSpiroSpero Sat 08-Mar-14 22:09:40

Thanks for all your posts - they're really helpful.

I went on a social networking course for work last year and I have the second part in a couple of weeks so will run some of this stuff past the tutor.

Things like kids seeing and sharing inappropriate jokes without realising, and the general lack of knowledge and understanding of how data is handled in cyberspace are the kind of thing I think a lot of parents wouldn't consider until problems started occurring.

Also helpful to hear to hear about school's different outlooks on cyber bullying. Our head is of the opinion that if it happens outside of school it is nothing to do with us. I think this is because we are a primary so probably only have a couple of years this might be relevant to, computer systems in school are tightly regulated and mobile phones aren't allowed.

However I think this may be something of an error of judgment and we need to look at the subject in more detail.

Nocomet Sat 08-Mar-14 22:49:43

I think parents would expect school to get involved, especially at primary level when DCs are under just at the age of criminal responsibility.

Up to around 13/14 when grief may have started at out of school house parties, I'd assume cyberbullying would be an extension of in school nastyness anyway.

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