Welcome to the World of Live Streaming Teens
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to speak at the Teach Them Diligently conference in Atlanta, GA. It’s always great to share with parents about all the various social media platforms our kids are using. One conversation I had with a parent stuck with me. He said, “Social media feels like we’re on a train and they’re still building the railroad.The scary thing is we don’t know where it leads.”
Bingo! I think that is the love/hate relationship many parents have with social media. Most parents I talk with are on social media. Most of us are on a number of platforms. We find social media useful. In fact, there are ways in which social media has made my life so much easier. But, there are also ways it’s made life more complicated. When it comes to our kids that’s a whole new level of parental worry to add to our load. New platforms emerge so quickly and our kids want to jump right in before we even have a moment to evaluate or think through some of the safety issues.
Now the newest social media trend brings us live streaming platforms. And, our teens want to be there. Let’s look at one of the most popular one with teens. . .
YouNow is a live video streaming and chat app. It’s available for both Apple and Android devices. YouNow’s TOS states that users must be 13 years or older. Accounts can be created by using another social media account (such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Google+). And, anyone can view live broadcasts by simply visiting YouNow.com.
Are There Privacy Concerns?
Yes! Privacy is a definite issue when using any live streaming platform. Users are able to change their username so they are able to give themselves an anonymous name (as opposed to using the name associated to their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+ account). However, many users share this information openly in an effort to connect with their viewers.
Are There Content Concerns?
YouNow has a strong statement prohibiting violence, self-harm, nudity, and sexually explicit behavior. They also state that they won’t tolerate bullying, hate speech, and on-screen substance abuse. Their policy is well written. I’m not sure if YouNow has a process for screening videos for inappropriate content or if they are relying on viewers to report it. My guess is the latter. There is a good deal of profanity.
This is one platform that’s so easy for you to check out, parents. You don’t have to download anything. You can literally go out to YouNow.com and poke around a bit.
And please, if you are thinking this message is for “those other parents,” take a moment and read this heartfelt post from a young adult teacher of high school students. If you want more information on the apps she mentions in her post, you can read my blog series, 12 Social Media Apps All Parents Should Know:
Or Purchase my eBook, Connected: Apps All Parents Should Know.