This week, in an effort to be thorough in what I have to share with you, I am providing a link to an article published last summer in CNET, an American media website that publishes reviews, news, articles, blogs, podcasts and videos on technology and consumer electronics globally.
Here is that link: http://www.cnet.com/news/ask-fm-the-troubling-secret-playground-of-tweens-and-teens/
The topic of this article is Ask.fm, an “app” that many of our students are accessing on their phones. A few years ago, something called Formspring was all the rage; like Ask.fm, it allowed users to post anonymously, and it led to hurt, upset, drama and anxiety among many of our Middle School girls. Though the article I’ve shared with you is from 2013, the popularity and challenges associated with Ask.fm have only recently come to the fore at AIS.
Not surprisingly, other Middle School Directors in our area are doing their best to alert parents to the risks associated with this app, and I want to do the same here. I am not a techie. I am not an expert in the latest apps, and certainly it is not my role to determine what technology each family decides is appropriate for its children. I will simply say to you that social media in the hands of young adolescents, be that Ask.fm, Snapchat, Instagram or countless other tempting, social diversions has changed the lives of Middle Schoolers…and not in a positive way.