Parenting in Digital Era

by Ossy Indra Wardhani

Parents need to alert all the time regarding the teens' digital usage, nowadays. With the luxury of unlimited Internet access, teens are easier to get connected with various portals and apps. Some parents are only worry to digital contents in some portals but they do not alert on social-networking apps that often exploited by pedophiles.

For some tweens & teens, Facebook, as a one-stop shop for all social-networking needs is over. They love to use various apps, instead; even though some apps seem complicated and might not well known by the parents; but, once the parents also start using these trendy apps (according to teens), they wouldn't be trendy anymore.

These new apps offer self-destructing/secret message, chatting with anonymous and micro-blogging. Below, some of most popular apps amongst teens that could susceptible used for (sexual) crime which parents need to understand and afterwards wisely convey to the teens on how to correctly and safely use these apps.


Kik allows communication with strangers who share their usernames. No phone lists are registered. It is not only used for chatting but enables sharing pics, video and more to strangers that could lead to sexual virtual crime. Advice for parents to suggest their teens to only communicates and shares contents to people whom they know very well.


Instagram is popular amongst social media users. The dangerous about Instagram is when your teens are lookout for "likes" to validate their popularity by posting inappropriate contents. Advice for parents to monitor what has been shared by their teens.

Vine is the entertainment network where users could post and watch varies of videos that create trends, influence culture and many more that make the users laugh. But some of the videos are inappropriate to watch by teens. Advice for parents to encourage their teens to avoid watching inappropriate contents that not suitable to their ages.


YouNow and Periscope are the best way to watch and create interactive live stream videos. The creepy is when teens start sharing their privacy times in their bedroom or bathroom to gain popularity. Advice for parents to suggest their teens to only shares their social times to public.


Burn Note and Snapchat are used by teens to communicate secretly, because both apps are able to erase messages, pictures and videos after a set period of time. It is potential to be used as medium for sexting or sharing inappropriate pictures or videos. Advice for parents to convey the possibility of the contents (sex message, photos & videos) goes viral to public to their teens.

Whisper is an online community where millions of people around the world share real thoughts, trade advice, and get the inside scoop. Contents can be filled with insecurity, depression, substances abuse, rage and so on. Advices for parents to suggest their teens to not easily get provoked with bad substances.

Even though your teens have used all of these apps properly, but parental guide still needed. Not only to monitor the teens but this parenting can be use as tool to be closer with your teens.

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