Ever-changing social media trends

Published: Dec. 4, 2019 at 6:43 PM CST
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The Internet is an abyss. It's almost impossible to keep up with the social media trends that flood app stores and smartphones, and this could be a reason why you might want to know what your child is up to on theirs.

The Pew Research Center says 95% of teens have access to a smartphone, and the principal of Mandan Middle School says what they have access to on the phones is a growing issue with students everywhere and it's important for parents to be observant.

Scrolling and "liking" is a part of our everyday lives and teenagers are following the trend.

Tik Tok is an app where users can make videos and share them with their friends, and the rest of the world.

"You can dance to music and post it on social media and you can have a private account or a public account,"said 6th grader Lola Petrick.

Ninth-grader Sydney Heinert says she's gotten messages from people in Spain and Russia.

Reporter: Has anyone been weird toward you at all?

"Yes, and then I just block them cause its an instant no," said Heinert.

Mandan middle school principal Ryan Leingang says kids having access to social media is a double-edged sword.

"Kids will get out there they'll shut down an account and start up a dummy account, so they have two accounts out there and as parents we don't know what the other account is going by," said Leingang.

Another app called YOLO, a popular acronym for "you only live once" allows users to receive anonymous messages from anyone who has them as a friend or follows them on Snapchat, the app where one can take a photo or video that disappears unless it's saved.

"We've had issues not at the middle school necessarily, but at the high school where somebody had posted something, just a simple question and anonymous replies were made that were very inappropriate and disheartening," said Leingang.

But seventh-grader Harper Harris says it could also be a way to bring classmates up.

"You can also tell them how great they are, and like ask them funny questions and have a good time on that," said Harris.

Leingang says after visiting with local law enforcement, it's almost impossible to track those who send the anonymous messages. But there are steps parents can take to monitor their children's tech devices.

One parent told me they set timers on their kids iPhone so they aren't using certain apps overnight, or using them at all during restricted hours.

You can also check privacy settings to see if they are public or private and check their primary account to see if they have any other linked accounts.

Location sharing has become more popular, which uses GPS and satellite tracking to pinpoint exactly where the phone and usually the person who has the phone, is. ​