Thursday, August 8, 2013

ask.fm----do our kids really need it?

I know from working on a daily basis with teenagers that ask.fm (I hope I have the correct name) that this site can be the root of a great deal of sadness for the participants. In the excitement of the moment, many teenagers bare their souls, placing them at risk of ridicule or even worse. Once they have pressed that button, all is out there to see. Yes, I know that it is supposed to be confidential, but when did teenagers ever ‘not share.’ It is all part of finding out ‘who they are,’ and getting feedback from their ‘friends.’ I doubt very much that ask.fm is a site that can actually provide ‘safe ‘answers to those students seeking ‘love, friendship, reassurance and a sense of belonging.
I know that teenagers need to take risks in order to learn some hard life lessons, but do they need the whole world to be part of that journey? I don’t think so. I support parents who wish to turn off this site, but then again, would the same kids not find other ways to meet this potentially dangerous ‘need?’ Teenagers will not stop taking risks or test boundaries, but please let’s keep an eye on our kids, even if that means upskilling  ourselves in order to achieve this. I guess the ‘playing filed is much changed since us oldies ‘flocked on the park of life!’