Periscope: the no pause app that parents need to know about
If you haven’t heard about Periscope yet, it’s probably time to get acquainted. The app, recently purchased by Twitter, is quickly taking the world by storm and attracting the attention of many, including adolescents. It attracted our interest and motivated The Technology Wellness Center to develop tips to help parents determine whether their adolescent should have this app.
Periscope is an app that permits users, who are supposed to be aged twelve and above, to do live streaming through a link in their Twitter feed or through the app itself. The app makers indicate that live video streams only remain viewable for 24 hours. In addition, the makers of the app indicate that pornography is prohibited, and if an individual complains to the company that they were live-streamed against their clear wishes (they said “no” during the streaming), the company will take down the live stream.
While this app may have many innocuous uses, the Technology Wellness Center (TWC) is concerned about the privacy and security issues surrounding the use of live streaming.
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[membership]Live streaming takes away the ability of people to reconsider whether or not they want something posted. In essence, it takes away the pause button. For example, many parents record videos or take pictures of their child while they are having a temper tantrum. Later, some of these parents may decide to post the video or picture to their social media accounts to share with their friends. This is the inherent pause in posting videos and pictures to the Internet. While that pause may only be a matter of seconds or minutes, it’s still there to prevent us from posting something before some forethought and consideration. There are probably many parents who have recorded or taken pictures of their children only to decide later not to post the video or picture because they do not want to shame or embarrass their child. With live streaming, that video will be posted without the option to pause, and potentially leave the parent with regret.t
Now imagine this type of power in the hands of an adolescent. Teenagers tend to be more impulsive than adults, and are likely to live stream activities they later regret sharing with the world. We anticipate that in the future, there will be instances of teenagers using this app to live stream incidents of bullying, moments of intimacy, or situations where privacy is otherwise expected from others around them. The potential emotional impact of these types of situations is nearly impossible to predict; however, there are things that parents can do to make their children aware of the power of this app and possibly prevent some of the negative effects it could bring about.
Tips for Parents:
- Parents should always have ultimate authority over which apps are on their children’s phones or tablets. If in the end, a parent does not think an app is appropriate for their child, they hold the power to say no.
- TWC believes that only older adolescents should have access to this type of app and ONLY after they have a proven track record of responsible technology use.
- If your child requests to download Periscope, discuss why and how they plan to use the app.
- After you have this discussion with your child, develop a list of pros and cons of using these types of apps.
- If you choose to permit this app to be downloaded by your child, be sure to be connected and have access to your child’s social media profiles, so that you can always view your child’s live streams. This ensures that parents can stay on top of any potential issues with the app that might arise from a child’s poor choices.
With Periscope’s growing popularity, your child will most likely be exposed to the app. Make sure to discuss the no pause nature of Periscope, and monitor their actions to keep them safe. Live streaming can be fun for kids, but regret isn’t fun for anyone.[/membership]