Public apps like Twitter and Facebook are losing the interest of teens who are using private, more anonymous apps in order to interact with their networks of friends. These apps can offer anonymity and privacy, but they can also be used for bullying and stalking, as well as for predators who pose as teenagers online. Nearly 41% of US teens use Snapchat, while 25% of teens who own a smartphone use Whatsapp. Both delete messages and posts after a short period of time.
Why this story matters for church leaders:
Church leaders need to understand how the teens in their churches use social media and how that can impact their safety, mental health, and relationships.
- First the Good News:Many teens recognize the need to remain anonymous and to protect their identities.
- The Bad News: While temporary apps can mean that embarrassing content can disappear shortly after posting, these apps can also be used for bullying or stalking.
- The Really Bad News:Predators are surely going to create fake profiles, and if teens are emotionally vulnerable, they could be in a prime position to be exploited.
How can you address these concerns in your church?
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