SMS Tech Tips and Talk – Yik Yak

This will be the first installment in a series of posts entitled, Tech Tips & Talk for Teens & Parents.  Through this series, our goal is to help parents understand a little more about technology but more importantly help create a dialogue at home between parents and children. There are a lot of wonderful benefits from the use of technology and social media but it can also cause frustration, hurt feelings and lead to trouble (in school and with the law) if not used appropriately. Our second goal for the technology series is to generate questions and other ideas. If you have a suggestion about a blog focus, let us know. If you have questions about what we included or about another technology tool, app or medium, make sure we know! We love to learn together.

Our first technology spotlight is Yik Yak which has generated a lot of news recently not only nationally, but locally as well. With the recent events at S.E. Polk High School, we believe it is crucial time for parents to talk to their child about the Yik Yak app and the social and safety hazards this app can cause for teenagers. Yik Yak (like Kik Messenger) is a free, local social-networking app that lets users post “anything and everything” anonymously, including a lot of explicit content that’s clearly not for children. We have included an informative video for parents which does a much better job than we could ever do in explaining Yik Yak. The video comes from Safe Smart Social which is a great place for any parent to start when looking for resources for parents to learn about what your child likely already knows about an app or technology.

Yik Yak App – A Parents Social Media Safety Guide – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsAWejtwgL4

South Middle School principal Doug Barry’s commentary on the video…

  • The district has already submitted all the locations of each school to block (video refers to “geofencing”).
  • We love the phrase used in the video to always text or post in a “light, bright and polite” manner!
  • Teens need to know that anonymous posts end up public and teenagers and adults can be prosecuted even if posted anonymously.
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Waukee, Iowa 50263
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