Teens and technology: How discrete are our kids’ digital lives?


Three teenagers sitting on floor using technology

Three teenagers sitting on floor using technology

Something different happened this time during an episode of “Good Morning America”, an ABC Radio production. Parents sat down with their kids to discuss how well their kids have been doing in their digital world, and well, it didn’t go without tears and family trust being questioned.

First, the correspondent of the show, T.J Holmes sat down with the parents of the 6 participants, to understand what they know of their daughters’ cell phone use.

Parents revealed normal responses about their kids being glued to their smartphones all the time. One of the parents, however, talked about her daughter’s obsession with her smartphone:



“Our daughter puts it into a Ziplock bag, plays music and she takes a shower,” said Lena, the mother of Allie (last names not used of those involved to protect their privacy)

Amazingly, all the parents had access to their kids’ cell phone, either through fingerprint ID or password, but, they were still baffled with how their kids have been using their phones. One of the parents told how their kids take selfie, use Ask.fm, and do Snapchat with their friends. When asked about Ask.fm, the parents responded as if they didn’t know about the app, at all.

Next were the girls, each of them between ages 11-13, when asked if there were some hidden or unusual apps that their parents would be happy to hear about, one of the girls responded with mentioning an app that looked like a calculator, but on the entering of a secret code, the app turns into a hidden vault.

Allie, one of the respondents talk about how tweens and teens frequently use this app to hide their nudes and inappropriate pictures, but in her case, she have been using it just for hiding inappropriate photos of her friends.

Ask.fm app allows users to post anonymous questions. Cammy, who is 12 years old talked about the types of questions that are asked on her Ask.fm profile.

“What are you wearing?”. “You are hot, and you are cute.”, explained Cammy.

The girls also added that,”the app provides tons of anonymity, and that’s why you tend to receive a lot of responses”.

When asked about Instagram, the girls told that they all have another Instagram account that their parent are not aware of. They referred to that account as Finstagram (i.e. Fake Instagram), which they have been keeping only for their friends.

“It’s basically a fake Instagram that you use to, like, post embarrassing photos of your friends, only your close friends follow.”

Allie talked about how her posts lead to a 19-year-old demanding her number.

“Well, I’ve gotten, like, a 19-year-old … He texted me, like, the direct message and he said, ‘Hey, what’s your number? Pics? How old are you?,’ and then I blocked him,” Allie said.

The discussion ends on a lighter note, with giggles, however, it’s not always this simple. Internet isn’t about rainbows and butterflies, but these kids seem to have a connoisseur for its use.

Make sure you know everything about your kids’ cell phone activity. Use a smartphone tracking app like TrackMyFone to help yourself with that.

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