At BCHS we fully support technology and love the benefits that social media can bring to our lives. Unfortunately, with technology there can be negatives that arise as well. In an effort to help students and parents to fully understand some of the dangers of social media we have created a list of social apps that, when used improperly, have really hurt the culture in many schools.

Apps like FacebookInstagram, and Twitter are important to monitor, but the following apps are ones that can pose additional issues that all should be aware of.

List of 9 items.

  • Snapchat

    This very popular app allows a user to send photos and videos to anyone on his/her friend list. The sender can determine how long the receiver can view the image and then the image “destructs” after the allotted time. It is the #1 app used for sexting, mostly because people think it is the safer way to sext. However, the “snaps” can easily be recovered and the receiver can take a screen shot and share it with others.
  • Yik Yak

    This app is one of the most dangerous. It allows users to post text-only Yaks of up to 200 characters. The messages can be viewed by the 500 Yakkers who are closest to the person who wrote the Yak, as determined by GPS tracking. Users are exposed to and some contribute sexually explicit content, abusive language and severe personal attacks. Although the posts are anonymous, kids really start revealing personal information as they get more comfortable with other users.
  • KiK Messenger

    This is a private messenger app and is coveted by those under 18 for a number of reasons. The app allows kids to send private messages that their parents can’t see. There is very little you can do to verify the identity of someone on Kik, which obviously poses the risk of sexual predators chatting with your child.
  • Poof

    The Poof app allows users to make apps disappear on their phone with one touch. Kids can hide every app they don’t want you to see on their phone. All they have to do is open the app and select the ones they don’t want you to see. The good news about this app is it is no longer available, but if it was downloaded before it was deleted from the app store, your child may still have it. Keep in mind that apps like this are created and then terminated pretty quickly by Android and Apple stores, but there are similar ones being created constantly. Some other names include: Hidden Apps, App Lock and Hide It Pro.
  • Omegle

    When you use Omegle you do not identify yourself through the service – chat participants are only identified as “You” and “Stranger.” You don't have to register for the app. However, you can connect Omegle to your Facebook account to find chat partners with similar interests. When choosing this feature, an Omegle Facebook App will receive your Facebook “likes” and try to match you with a stranger with similar likes. There is a high risk of sexual predators and you don’t want your kids giving out their personal information, much less even talking to strangers.
  • Whisper

    This is a meeting app that encourages users to post secrets. You post anonymously, but it displays the area you are posting from. You can search for users posting within a mile from you. A quick look at the app and you can see that online relationships are forming constantly on this app, but you never know the person behind the computer or phone.
  • Down

    This application is connected to Facebook. Users can categorize their Facebook friends in one of two ways: they can indicate whether or not a friend is someone they'd like to hang with or someone they are "down" to hook up with. The slogan for the app: “The anonymous, simple, fun way to find friends who are down for the night.”
  • Blendr

    A flirting app used to meet new people through GPS location services. You can send messages, photos, videos, rate the hotness of other users, etc. Problem: There are no authentication requirements, so sexual predators can contact minors, and minors can meet up with adults.
  • Ask.fm

    Ask.fm is one of the most popular social networking sites that is almost exclusively used by kids. It is a Q&A site that allows users to ask other users questions while remaining anonymous. Problem: Kids will often ask repeated derogatory questions that target one person. Due to the anonymity of the badgering, it creates a virtually consequence-free form of cyber-bullying.

Recommendation

Again, many of the listed apps can be enjoyable and harmless if used in a healthy way. If your kids use any social media site, it is important to be engaged and to be a presence. Ways to do this may include friending, following, or joining them on it to monitor what they're doing and saying. Another option is to occasionally look at their phones to confirm which apps they have installed, or even review their activity on the site. Regardless, the most important thing is to stay involved.

Contact

List of 4 members.

  • Nathan Thiessen 

    Vice President of Student Life
    5510
    Bio
  • Cerrena Wells 

    Director of the International Program, Student Life & Academic Growth, Department Head, Teacher
    5528
  • Joseph Cabalka 

    Spiritual Formation Director, Teacher
    5534
  • Elizabeth Bruick 

    Administrative Assistant, Receptionist
    5500
Honoring God … Helping Students Soar!