New Scary Apps Let Kids Live Stream All Their Foolish Antics

We live in amazing times and with each innovative technological breakthrough, it becomes even easier to disseminate news and get information that was unaccessible to us 20 years ago. But new apps like Periscope and Meerkat, which let people share real-time video and broadcast it on the app and Twitter, are incredible tools for your average adult and many professionals—but a parent's worst nightmare.

Advertisement

So, here's how Meerkat and Periscope work: you download the app, create an account through Twitter, choose people from your Twitter list to follow, and then give the site permission to access your camera. A 5-year-old could probably set these up in less than three minutes. From that point on, what you choose to record and share with the universe is totally up to you.

Here's how these apps would be used in a perfect world (because I think I mentioned they are impressive): reporter finds himself in the middle of an impromptu protest and is able to share with his followers what is happening on the streets in real time. A mom wants her child's grandparents to experience her dance recital as her pirouette is happening—she can do just that with this app.

And there are countless other great examples we can probably all imagine.

Of course, kids aren't in the business of reporting from the front lines or (with few exceptions) sharing touching family moments with their extended relatives.

They're kids. They do now and think later. They film themselves eating Pop-Tarts. Fake fighting with friends. Actually fighting with "enemies." Making startling "confessions" on camera without thinking they'll regret them five minutes later.

And we don't have to touch upon all of the ways some kids might use these apps to experiment with their sexuality and sexual power. A lot of us went there mentally the second we read the words "live streaming." 

Because kids are naturally impulsive and lack the ability to think far into the future, we've already seen examples of these apps being used in ways that would make most parents lose their minds. One video reportedly showed a girl sitting at a table. The person who posted it thought it might be funny to let everyone know, "She doesn't know that I'm filming her!"

Great.

More from The Stir: 5 Facebook Statuses That Got Teens in BIG Trouble

And then there's this REALLY young girl who likely didn't think twice before posting a vid of herself just being herself (which is, a really, really young girl, if I didn't make that clear enough). Because of her age, I don't feel comfortable sharing this screen shot of her posted by a Twitter user, but his reasons for doing so are the opposite of creepy: he includes some of the disgusting, horrific comments posted for her as she is live streaming her video.

Oh, did I forget to mention the best part? Strangers can leave comments and say whatever the hell they feel about our kids' videos.

Just to give you some idea of the comments this girl has received, here are a few: 

"Can I smell you"

"Twerk dance please"

"Bony"

"When was ur last time u was f****d"

Since we can't stop the world and get off (gripping our kids' hands and dragging them with us), the next best thing we can do is stay aware of apps like these that make it more possible for our children to connect with strangers and share their lives in ways they might end up regretting.

We should discuss with our kids the impact these apps can have on them and outright place restrictions on them so that our young children can't access them.

Would you let your child use a live streaming app?

 

Image via Summer Skyes 11/Flickr

 

Read More >