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Kik and many other messaging apps encourage users to share their profile names across to other social media apps like Facebook and Instagram, unfortunately some kids who do this are then getting approached directly through Kik Messenger by adult strangers who have found their Kik Messenger name on Instagram or Facebook because the child doesn’t have privacy settings set up on those other platforms and has posted their name there.If your child does use a messaging app to chat with their friends, the upside is, free messaging, cheaper than paying for SMS.Skype was founded in 2003 and is basically a mechanism to use the internet for voice calls.To use Skype, a good internet connection is required along with a suitable device (laptop or smartphone).GROW was founded in the 1950’s, some 100 years after the first telephone came into existence, so it is no surprise that the GROW program makes reference to telephones (e.g. GROW first came to Ireland in the late 1960’s, some 20 years before the World Wide Web came into being and more than 20 years before the first ever text message was sent.There has been phenomenal growth in communication technology in the past 40 years and this has impacted all our lives.

Using skype for adult chat-48Using skype for adult chat-48

Bearing this in mind, let’s take a look at how we, as GROWers, can integrate technology into our lives and our GROW Program (especially 12th Step activities).

As I’ve outlined in other posts, the only 2 messaging apps I can recommend for Primary school (under 13yrs) students are Apple i Message and Skype.

This is because these are the only two messaging apps that don’t encourage sharing your profile name across to other social media platforms, and because of the easy privacy settings.

Reach Out published a report in 2014 which indicated that 70% of parents were likely to look for information and support on the internet if their child was suffering from mental health problems and a 2012 UCD study on youth mental health found that the internet is the most likely source (77%) of support for young people.

No more paying huge SMS bills, and its fun to be able to text and send emoticons, photos and videos to friends in one to one messaging or in a groups.

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