New Social Media Trend: Teens Move To Self-Destructing Communication Apps

The 2013 Cassandra Report, released by  the Intelligence Group, a consumer insight and research company, found that 55% of post-millennial respondents said they don’t like things that last forever online, and another 55% said they’d rather be anonymous than vocal. And 76% said they thought other people shared too much.

Teens are moving to Apps that obliterate their images and text after the recipient reads them, a la SnapChat. It isn’t just SnapChat, but a new host of Apps and Social Media Sites such as: Blink lets users  share self-destructing texts and pictures with groups, Skim erases texts as you read them, and BurnNote messages can only be viewed a few words at a time. And some apps, like Whisper, go even further by guaranteeing that content can never be traced back to the user, because the user is completely anonymous.

This seems good on the surface, right? Kids are now thinking about their digital reputation, and that is a good thing. Indeed it is, but this new trend also makes it difficult for parents to know what their children are looking at and any moment. I tell parents to not let their children delete their browser or message history, so the parent can review what their kids are viewing or talking about. These apps make this impossible.

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About the Author

Clayton Cranford
Clayton Cranford is a retired Sergeant from Orange County Sheriff's Department in California and owner of Total Safety Solutions LLC. Clayton is one of the nation’s leading law enforcement educators on social media, child safety, and behavioral threat assessments. Clayton is the author of the definitive book on cyber safety for families, “Parenting in the Digital World.” Clayton has more than 20 years of teaching experience and was awarded the 2015 National Bullying Prevention Award from the School Safety Advocacy Council, and the 2015 American Legion Medal of Merit. Clayton was a member of the County's Behavioral Threat Assessment Team, Crisis Negotiation Team, School Resource Officer program, and Juvenile Bureau.