How parents can set limits for kids on social media

Child psychologist says parents should do their research about latest popular apps

FILE - In this May 21, 2013 file photo, a view of an iPhone in Washington showing the Twitter app, right, among others. Think of it as tweeting for dollars. The social media service Twitter on Tuesday introduced a feature that enables political candidates and advocacy groups to raise money directly via its mobile application, making it quicker and easier to harvest small donations from followers. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN) — Social media’s prevalence has skyrocketed in recent years, leaving kids open to rumors, bullying and other hidden dangers.

Beaverton School District has had issues with bullying and online threats in the past, and now shows a video to warn students about the dangers of social media.

“We take that very seriously,” Maureen Wheeler with Beaverton School District said. “We know that kids are going to do the back-and-forth that kids do… When it comes to being harmful and it disrupts the educational process, we’re going to intervene very strongly, and certainly if we need to, we will involve law enforcement.”

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are some of the most popular social media apps, but there’s a staggering number of other ones you may not even know about.

Apps like Kik Messenger, Periscope, Vine, AskFM and Whisper are some of them. The app Poof hides social media apps kids don’t want their parents knowing about.

Child psychologist Shannon ODell told KOIN 6 News it’s important for parents to do their homework about the latest technology and set limits with their kids.

“[Sit] down with your child and [say] show me the apps that are on your phone, show me how you use them and why you like them,” ODell suggested.

ODell said another thing to keep in mind is that popular apps like Pokemon Go have GPS features that can locate exactly where your child may be.

“Child predators have… in a lot of ways, unfettered access to kids now,” she said.

Parents can ask their wireless carrier for help setting up alerts on their own phones so they get a notification any time their children try to download new apps.

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