More than any other technology, smartphones are creating the greatest risks for children because of accumulated effects, including...
Listen to a podcast conversation with Tom Ashbrook's On Point when he tried to answer the question "When Should Your Kids Get Smartphones? Some Say Wait Until 8th Grade" (Posted 12/3/2017) There is a growing movement of parents who support the idea of waiting until 8th grade before giving their children a smartphone. Doug Fodeman at Brookwood strongly supports this premise. To learn more, visit: WaitUntil8th.org.
New Parental Control apps appear each year and it is important to check for quality apps that can help parents monitor and set boundaries. One such app getting attention is "Our Pact." OurPact is a simple family locator and parental control app that allows parents to locate family members and limit screen time by blocking internet and app access.
There are many smartphone apps that are not appropriate for young teens but are attracting their attention and use including "Hot or Not," "Chance," "Sneak," and "Yik Yak." Smartphone apps that enable anonymous communication, communication between strangers or “rating” other people are very risky. Some also allow users to post photos/videos anonymously or identify user location. Most are rated either 17+ or 21+. The apps include:
After School Secret TBH (To Be Honest)
Ask (Ask.fm) Spayce Sarahah (Info about this app)
Back Chat Sneek
Burnbook Street Chat
Hot or Not Yik Yak
This website has a good description of the issues and apps: https://thesocialsheriff.wordpress.com/category/danger-danger-apps-to-watch-for/
CAUTION: Burn Book is a very dangerous app that has been in the media a lot because of teen misuse. Check out...
NOTE: There are some risky apps that teens use to hide things like photos from parents. They actually hide nothing because if a smartphone is confiscated and searched by police investigating a crime the photos are easily discovered. These and other apps are described in this article called "6 Underground Apps Students Hide From Schools" (and parents).
NOTE 2: There is a great deal of misinformation being circulated online about an app called "Blue Whale." Presumably, the app encourages children to hurt themselves in ever-increasing ways, resulting in an attempt at suicide at day 50. This self-hurt app, downloaded by many children in Europe and Russia, has been largely de-bunked as myth. Read this article from ForEveryMom.com to learn more about this app and what are the real concerns regarding teen suicide and this app.
Cell Phone Guidelines for Middle Schoolers: What You Should Know
Peeple launched in November, 2015. It already has a lot of media attention. The app developer says it is rated 21+.
REGARDING TEXTING & RECOVERING DELETED TEXTS
It is not recommended that children below 7th grade engage in texting. Social drama often begins with texting and group texts amongst younger children are often hurtful. If parents do give permission for their children to text, it is strongly advised that parents routinely check on their child's texts. You may also choose to tell your child that texts may not be deleted and missing texts may lead to consequences. Some websites claim to provide instructions how to retrieve deleted texts. We cannot verify their success but provide these links as possible resources:
Parental Control Software to Monitor Texting
Phone Sheriff: http://www.phonesheriff.com/purchase.html
Secure Teen: http://www.secureteen.com/
My Mobile Watchdog: https://www.mymobilewatchdog.com/
Recovering Deleted iPhone Texts:
Recovering Deleted Android Phone Texts:
Specific Recommendations: http://www.brookwood.edu/technology-specific-recommendations
Lastest Research: http://www.brookwood.edu/technology-latest-research
Technology Contracts for Kids: http://www.brookwood.edu/technology-contracts-kids
Specific Issues and Concerns About: