Technology Tuesday: APP ALERT: Poof

I hear about a lot of apps from the kids that I counsel.  But I have recently heard about a whole host of apps that I haven’t heard about from kids…which concerns me even more.

 The first I heard about was an app called Poof, which is a clear box on a smartphone that you can drop other apps into which cause them to disappear from view.  The more research I did, the more I realized there are a plethora of apps designed to make other apps do just that:  disappear.  They include App Lock, Hide it Pro, and Hidden Apps.

You get the point.  I met with a teenager this week who is distraught over her dad’s unwillingness to let her have snapchat.  Poof!  She can not only have it, but can cause it to disappear whenever he walks in the room.

Evidently, many of these apps that pop up also disappear themselves…hopefully a rational adult got ahold of the developer.  But, more quickly pop up in their stead.

Again, we can’t be vigilant enough with kids and technology.  We want to give them opportunities to learn and grow with integrity in the real and virtual worlds.

Check your younger children’s phones regularly.  Check their apps, including their folders that have mysterious names, in case they’ve figured out one of these disappearing methods.  As they get older and prove themselves trustworthy, check less.  Let them know you see and value their responsibility.  The goal is to raise and launch responsible children into a world that is ever increasing in technology and opportunities to hide.   It is a tremendous amount of responsibility for an adult, let alone a child.   

Safeguard their devices and hearts vigilantly when they’re younger.  As they get older, give them chances to make those choices on their own.  Pull the rope back in when they fail.  And then give them a chance again.  It’s how we all learn. In order for them to make wise choices once they’re on their own, they need practice making those choices bit by bit under the safety of your roof.  And join us for Technology Tuesday’s to stay current on what to watch for and how to help them learn to live in the light, even in the midst of technology.

Here’s a great resource for more info on hidden apps and how to help! 

http://www.netnanny.com/assets/brochures/Ways-Kids-Hide-Apps-on-Android-and-iOS.pdf