There are plenty of messaging apps out there to help keep children in touch with members of their family, no matter where they live. You’ve likely heard of several – WhatsApp, Kik, and Snapchat, to name a few.
However, depending on the age of your children, Common Sense Media
advises that you may want to think twice before utilizing some of these apps. Why? Because these apps include features like location tracking and the ability to chat with strangers that may not be appropriate for children under the age of 13 (technically, your kids can’t even set up an account on these apps unless they are falsifying their birth date).
If you have children under the age of 13 years old, these are some apps that were created for kids to talk:
If your children are over the age of 13 and responsible social media users, the most popular messaging apps, according to Statista
- Facebook Messenger
recommends a few other popular messaging apps as well, including:
Why are messaging apps more popular than merely sending a text?
Most of these apps offer additional features such as free text messaging, voice to video calling, photo and file-sharing options, and support for GIFs and fun photo-editing features.
Many of the apps offer location-sharing features as well, which can be exceptionally comforting when your children aren’t with you, so you still know where they are, and some of the apps are free from annoying advertising messages. Not all apps are free from charge, but if the features meet your needs, it may be worth the cost.
Life360 is a subscription-based app that advertises itself as a place just for your family. It includes features like location sharing and smart notifications, so you know when a member of your family arrives or leaves frequented places. You can even get alerts is a family member’s phone battery is running low.
If you have a new driver in the house, Life360
offers a crash detection feature that detects collisions over 25 miles per hour. According to the app, an agent calls the driver or passenger when a crash is detected. If no one answers the phone, an ambulance is dispatched, and the agent also calls your emergency contacts. The app costs $7.99 a month.
However, there are downfalls to apps like this, as well. Because these apps make a substantial amount of their revenue by allowing advertisers to use their data, some people may have concerns with privacy and surveillance.
Privacy and security of data are something every family needs to take seriously, and it’s essential to thoroughly research any family messaging app you are considering for use. Read the provider’s privacy policies carefully, as well as online reviews and articles about the provider.
While there are pluses and minuses to every app, today’s technology makes it faster and easier than ever before to stay connected and communicate with your family members no matter where you are.
TalkingParents blogs are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Always consult with a qualified attorney regarding legal matters.