The Evolving And Risky World Of Smartphone Technology

By: Sara Dodrill
By: Sara Dodrill

The upcoming generation will be the most connected generation yet. With the wealth of apps and phone technology that can do almost anything these days, there are risks to an unsupervised child or teen.

"Smartphones have cameras. They have video recorders. They are connected, but not only are they connected with other people, and they have these experiences that they don't want to share with their parents or a mentor. Then they can then take pictures or video and share it back with that network, without any sort of supervision in place," warns Tracey Tuten, a social media expert at East Carolina University.

Earlier this year the State Bureau of Investigation obtained a search warrant for 15 Instagram accounts after nude photos of students in Wake County were uncovered.

"Especially when you are young its so easy to make stupid mistakes, but now the potential for those mistakes and the potential consequences are so much greater and last much longer."

Aside from picture messages, there are other apps that parents should know about. Tuten says Snapchat has been the primary network of concern to parents over the last few years because of the anonymity of the messages and how quickly they disappear. Other new apps raising parental eyebrows are Whisper and Secret.

Whisper is a location driven app that allows users to anonymously share their thoughts or secrets. Users will get notifications when someone has "whispered" nearby.

According to a recent study, 57 percent of high school students and 42 percent of middle school students have smartphones.


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