Back in the day, a locket was a necklace given as a sentimental or romantic gift that one would cherish for years. It held a photo of a loved one that could be opened and remembered as often as desired.
Today, there is a new “locket”– an app downloaded to your device. This Locket app is also a way to express sentiment. The Locket app is a photo sharing app, in which one can send photos somewhat similar to sharing a photo on Snapchat or WhatsApp. However the differences are as follows:
– The photos automatically appear on the other person’s home phone screen as a widget–you do not open an app to see the picture. It’s a bit like a private social media platform right there on your home screen.
-Users can choose between 5 and 20 friends to connect with, all of whom must also have downloaded the Locket widget app. Once connected, the users’ photos are shared with each other via their phone’s home screen widget, staying on the home screen widget until a new one is added. Pictures can come from the photo gallery or a quick snap of the camera.
-Due to the limited number of people you can connect with on Locket, there may be less risk of harmful content and predators. Of course, as with any apps, there is still risk of cyberbullying, inappropriate pictures being sent, (the shared pictures do stay in the app gallery, whatever the content may be) and no parental controls other than blocking the app.
Similarly, the app LiveIn allows users to share a picture on the home screen using a widget. LiveIn lets users send hand-drawn notes and doodles. It also has ‘World Feed’ which operates like a public feed of moments (photos). You can tap on any picture in the World Feed and follow that person. There is no way to make your profile private. However, when you share a moment, there is the option to share it to “World,” “Followers,” “Friends,” or “Only me.” If you do not share it to the ‘World Feed’, then strangers would not be able to find you. There is a search function for user names (so you could add random people or be randomly added this way); but you are able to block or report friends/followers.
LiveIn gives you the ability to like and/or comment on ANY moment, therefore others can like and/or comment on your moment. Likes and comments are cohesive with the public World Feed and gives LiveIn an Instagram-like feeling. There is an option to create a friend video on LiveIn. A slideshow of moments sent between friends is created, which can be shared to other platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Messenger Kids, email, etc’.
The risk of cyberbullying, inappropriate content, the World Feed, the comment feature, and video option, there are greater concerns in LiveIn than the Locket app. There is also no limit on how many friends you can share your photos and videos with, as there is with the Locket app.
As with all technology, the need to be mindful is evident in these two apps as well. Neither is necessarily harmful, though the potential for it still exists. When allowing these apps to be used by your teens, have the necessary conversations regarding what to share and what to do if inappropriate content is shared with them. As the parent, you are God’s vessel to raise the children He gave you, may His wisdom lead you discernment in this case as well.
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