Why It’s Unwise to Leave Your Kids Unsupervised on WhatsApp
WhatsApp and kids are inseparable in today’s day and age, and understandably so. The popular multi-platform instant-messaging service makes it easier than ever for the smartphone generation to keep in touch with their social network on the go, which includes exchanging messages, pictures, videos, voice messages, files, and even making free calls. There’s just so much for them to drool over. However, you cannot let their happiness with the service blind you to the threats it leaves them vulnerable to. You need to realize the importance of keeping tabs on their WhatsApp use, and if that requires you to install a monitoring app on their smartphone, then so be it. You can’t take any chances because WhatsApp has a deadly side to it, which is explained below.
Opens the Door to Strangers
You certainly wouldn’t want your kids to be talking to strangers, as the latter can very well be someone dangerous, like predators for instance. In the absence of a monitoring tool, there’s no way for you to know who your kids are in touch with. Your kids may not understand the danger of talking to strangers, but you probably do due to your experience and knowledge. Unfortunately, WhatsApp has no filter in place to keep unknown numbers from contacting your kids. Yes, the option to block a person is there, but what surety is there that your kids would use that option?
Raises Probability of Sexting
Unfortunately, the trend of exchanging inappropriate messages and pictures is catching on fast among the smartphone generation. With WhatsApp, it has only gotten easier for them to engage in this activity, thus causing them to let go of their inhibitions even more quickly than before. WhatsApp doesn’t make any effort to block indecent conversations or images, nor does it have any parental control feature that you can activate. As a result, kids feel free to become reckless and undertake risks, oblivious to the consequences that they may have to face in case their racy messages and pictures become public.
Increases Their Vulnerability to Cyberbullying
This is one problem that you’ll find yourself confronting over and over again because of its persistence and relentlessness. It creeps up on every platform where kids are able to freely interact, and starts posing a potent threat to their psychological and even physical health. In the case of WhatsApp, the threat is increased because it offers them a platform to freely interact without any adult supervision. They can have group conversations in which they could be targeting or find themselves getting targeting by others. Abuses, insults, threats, shaming, all this is quite prevalent in these group conversations. Even individual chats are not any less risky. You need to adopt a proactive approach to detect a cyberbullying situation and tackle it before it ends up causing serious damage to the kids, be it your own or someone else’s.
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