Telegram

Telegram

Apps
Telegram is a free messaging app that was launched in 2013 by brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov, who previously founded VKontakte. VKontakte is best described as the Russian version of Facebook. Currently, the company behind Telegram is based in Dubai. Telegram currently claims to have 500 million active users each month. According to SEO blog Backlinko, "25 million new users joined Telegram during a 72-hour peak in January 2021. That equates to about 8.33 million new registrations per day. And over 100 million new users started using Telegram in January alone.”  The rush to Telegram was prompted by GAFAM’s (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft) attempted censorship of popular conservative voices such as Donald Trump. Telegram functions like a classic instant messaging app. You can send messages to other users, create…
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Cyberbullying Surpasses Bullying

Cyberbullying Surpasses Bullying

Hazards
Cyberbullying Surpasses Bullying as Most Common Type of Harassment For much of the 2020 school year, most children in America were  schooled from their homes.  During this time, one would think that bullying (which typically happens at school, on the school yard, or on the school busses) would have decreased. Unfortunately, 2020 was the first year that cyberbullying surpassed all other methods and became the most common type of harassment.  Teens don’t have to physically be at school - they can just use their smartphones to continue to harass their peers.  A recent article posted by Very Well Family explains the facts.  https://www.verywellfamily.com/how-common-is-cyberbullying-4570942 Cyberbullying isn’t new.  October 10, 2020 marked 8 years since Amanda Todd, a Canadian teenager, took her own life after suffering both bullying and cyberbullying for a…
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How Much is TOO MUCH Sharing?

How Much is TOO MUCH Sharing?

Apps, Guidelines, Hazards
OVERSHARING?Anna updated her status:“Looking for ideas on what to do this weekend while my parents are out of town, input?”Sam shared a picture:“Her curls bounce all over as she’s walking! She is just so cute taking her first steps, we’re so proud!”Anita checked in at ‘Trampoline Park Craze’“This is one 7 year old birthday party my daughter and I will never forget! Let’s JUMP!”Sharing our activities, families, and looking for advice are just a few things that we naturally do as a society these days. It’s our way of connecting with the world and being social with each other. Physically being with our family members and friends isn’t always possible, so it is nice to have the resource of technology to share these updates and receive quick feedback.Until the sharing…
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Social Media Time Limits

Social Media Time Limits

Apps, Hazards, Tutorials
"I can't believe how much time I waste on Facebook," a friend told me. "I really should just get rid of it." My friend isn't alone. Plenty of people feel they get little value out of social media, and yet they continue to use it more than they would like, often to the detriment of their productivity and their mental and spiritual well-being. Facebook isn't the only offender. People throw their hands up at Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and other apps and websites all the time. Still, not everyone wants to quit social media for good. If you're not willing to quit cold turkey, you can limit the amount of time you spend on social media per day. For example: "I'll spend no more than 10 minutes per day on Facebook," or…
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Socializing Online

Socializing Online

Apps, Hazards
Chatting with a few friends on Messenger or What’s App isn’t a harmless way to pass the time. Right?  Look at that question from another perspective: Meeting with other friends at one of their homes for a few hours to talk isn’t a harmless way to pass the time. Right? Does one of those questions strike a chord with you more than the other? That could depend on your age. It could depend on what generation you were born in. It could also depend on how you were raised and what you learned as you grew up. As the generation of adults who grew up without the internet ages, the generation of children who grow up knowing nothing but a screen in the face ages as well. We see it…
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Benefits and Dangers of Facebook

Benefits and Dangers of Facebook

Apps, Reviews
Facebook is the biggest social network in the world.  It has been about 15 years since Facebook came into existence. Its popularity has skyrocketed in the decade after its launch, although the network's growth has flatlined in the last few years. Here are a few statistics published in 2019 by the Pew Research Center that give some indication of the huge impact Facebook has had on the world. View the article.
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Social Media Safety

Social Media Safety

Guidelines
Most teens use some form of social media and have a profile on a social networking site. Many visit these sites every day.There are plenty of good things about social media — but also many risks and things kids and teens should avoid. They don't always make good choices when they post something to a site, and this can lead to problems.So it's important to talk with your kids about how to use social media wisely.  kidshealth.org/en/parents/social-media-smarts.html
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Instagram: The Rinsta’s and the Finsta’s

Instagram: The Rinsta’s and the Finsta’s

Apps, Reviews
The Rinsta’s and the Finsta’s   As harmless as the app called ‘Instagram’ seems on the surface - a photo and video editing platform - many dark areas loom around any corner. When not set up with proper privacy settings, the user needs to be extra vigilant to protect their eyes from the content that can pop up within a few clicks or swipes.  Despite the creator’s efforts to keep inappropriate content out of it’s app, and safe for “13+” to use, images inappropriate for any age of eyes can still be found. Users are allowed to ‘Block’, ‘Report’, and ‘Unfollow’ accounts that they are not interested in or believe are not appropriate. In its simplest form the app is not harmful, though the psychological effects of any social media…
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Digital Addiction

Digital Addiction

Hazards
“Son won't turn off his video game? Daughter obsessed with ‘likes’ on Instagram? It may not be entirely their fault. Like the high-octane sugar in a pint of Ben & Jerry's and that irresistible chemical spice in Flamin' Hot Cheetos, the ingredients in social media, video games, apps, and other digital products are carefully engineered to keep you coming back for more.” Common Sense Media has recently published an article describing the science behind digital addiction.  Please read and ponder how this may be affecting you and your family members…  The article includes some helpful tips to manage the “tricks” that are built into these digital products.  (Note - there are references to specific social media examples that we do not endorse) Link to Article *Please note, that although we have…
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