Dough. Ray. Me!

A is for Appapp
by Just Add Kids, Founder
Paula Herrmann

Let’s start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with A-B-C
(I am singing while I am typing out these words, lyrics to the song made famous by Maria and the von Trapp Children in the hit movie musical “The Sound of Music”)

So that is where I started in my quest to get to know #3 daughter’s handheld device. For those of you joining us for the first time, it’s a project that I’ve had hovering over my head and on the TO DO list if not for a month, since I caved and bought this Pandora’s Box…an iPhone for my daughter’s 11th birthday back in April.  Ready for the journey? Read more….

Like I said, I started with the apps that had been downloaded, mind you, only with my permission, as she has to have me type in my AppleID’s password to gain access to downloading. Honestly, they weren’t that bad.  And they really shouldn’t be, should they? I am the one typing in my password. I’ve just asked her, and with her “wise 11 year mature” opinion assures me they’re “good mom, really“. Looking at what she had only confirmed that she is so like me in many ways. She likes fashion and shop-like apps where she buys for her store, or bakery, and lures costumers in.  She likes trivia and music, and of course, Minecraft (like what kid over 7 doesn’t?)

Unfortunately, I did find something I explicitly told her she couldn’t have, and that was Snapchat. And guess what, Snapchat explicitly told her that she couldn’t have it either. In fact, in its Terms of Service is plainly states “persons under the age of 13 are prohibited from creating Snapchat accounts”. So I downloaded Snapchat on my phone, took a scolding selfie, and sent it her way. I wish I had that picture to share with you. Me in my velcro rollers and glasses and all. Thank goodness it evaporates within a few seconds of opening the picture message. And that’s part of the problem. The “evidence” if used inappropriately vanishes and there is no tracking on the phone. Good for sender, and perhaps recipient. Not so much for parents. It’s a potential breeding ground for sexters. I have NO idea how she was able to download it. Unless it was before I had heard about it and she gave me that reassuring “it’s good mom, really” and I gladly typed in my password approving the download. Geesh. She actually had to have typed in a bogus date of birth, knowing it was in violation of Snapchat’s terms. Intentional. Illegal. Sassy!

Another app I dug into was Instagram. An 11 year old with 252 followers and 826 that she is following. Really? Plus that, this was the 3rd account name I found traces of, later confirmed by her, that she had used. We really need to pare it down. Not really too thrilled with the anonymity of those that follow her and likewise who she follows. I don’t like the culture I see in her world of Instagram of “Like this (picture) and I’ll guarantee you X number of followers” or “follow the users below and help my friends reach their goal”. I don’t know, maybe I should use the latter in my work marketing. It just sounds so desperate.

Next, I went through her pictures. Now, this was an area that she is so UNLIKE me…only 16 pictures and 2 videos. I am thinking maybe she did go thru and delete some. Maybe not.

parental advisoryThen it was onto the music she had downloaded. Oh good grief, 72 songs and I got through 41 of them. 2 are coming off, for sure, those that had a Parental Advisory for Explicit Content badge on the accompanying album cover shot. There are another 11 songs that I am on the fence about.  Gosh, I just don’t like the content. I know what is being said. A couple of real dark or in my book, kinda raunchy, lyrics. Okay, I’ve just convinced myself they’re coming off. I listened, I accessed the lyrics, and got a headache on the way. I will painfully attack the balance. Augh!

Texting after 10pm BANNED. Even if it's a stupid app!

Mermaids, why must you text my daughter as mom tries to slumber? Not anymore!

Finally, I got into the phone’s Settings. I’m no dummy, neither am I a techie and as I go thru each option. I am overwhelmed with what a complicated, intricate device I am holding in my hands. It’s amazing and intimidating. I took care of the things I could understand, like location services and the banners, badges, alerts and sounds. I had mentioned in an earlier post that my daughter’s phone gets plugged into my room at night, and many times, I get an overnight light show. Her games are sending her messages during all hours of the night. WTH?

I still have a bit of work left to do. And for parents of newbie kid cell phone users, my bit of advice is to be in on it from the get go, before the task is too daunting and before any damage is done.

A friend had attended his child’s school that had a presenter that came and spoke on internet safety which includes smartphones, and other handheld devices. Here’s a resource for you (and me) to consider. {click to open}

While this post is complete. My job definitely is NOT! It ain’t easy being a parent of an 11 year old with a smartphone.

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    I am so relieved I am not the only mom actually concerned about these things. Other people act as though I am out of touch or paranoid. Sorry but a fish lip kissy face pic for a 13 year old on FB? Um, nope. A wall full of friends who use the F and N words as tho they are bigoted drunken sailors? Um, nope. I just don’t get why people don’t care how their children are presenting themselves.

  2. 2

    I am so relieved I am not the only mom actually concerned about these things. Other people act as though I am out of touch or paranoid. Sorry but a fish lip kissy face pic for a 13 year old on FB? Um, nope. A wall full of friends who use the F and N words as tho they are bigoted drunken sailors? Um, nope. I just don’t get why people don’t care how their children are presenting themselves.

  3. 3

    […] had run amuck! For the most part, I thought and still think she was safe. You can read more here: https://jakchat.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/dough-ray-me/ Today, that same daughter, Miss 11 year old, broke a rule. She brought her cell phone to school. I […]


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