What Parents Should Know About Facebook Kids Messenger App

Facebook recently debuted a new app that is designed to let young kids use Messenger for video chats, messaging, and more. While the development team behind the app says that it’ll keep kids safe while they learn how to use social media, parents are not really sure if that’s the case. Facebook has had issues protecting their users’ data. Additionally, the idea of letting small children, who can barely read, use social media doesn’t sit well with some child advocacy groups. They don’t know that they need to use a people search tool to avoid strangers online. The Messenger For Kids app is brand new and currently only available on Apple devices. Let’s take a quick look at the things parents need to know about it.

It Has Safety Features

Unlike some other social media apps and gadgets, it does have some safety features that will protect your child’s privacy. Only parents can add friends, so you’ll always know who your child is talking to. You can add both relatives and friends to your child’s list. But, if you want to add one of your child’s friends to their Messenger app, you’ll need to add that child’s parent to your friends list. Then, you can add their child to your child’s friend list. It’s a great way to keep an eye on who your kid is friends with and know who their parents are. You can learn more about them by using a people search engine, too. The app also prohibits advertising, so you won’t have to worry about your child being exposed to inappropriate ads.

It Has Video Capabilities

Video chatting is a nice feature that will make it easier for your child to talk to their grandparents or other family members. They can use fun filters, draw on the screen, and add stickers to make video chats more fun.

It’s Heavily Censored

Children can only use Messenger For Kids.
Children can only access Facebook through the Messenger For Kids app.

The app’s gifs, stickers, filters and more have all been thoroughly censored and edited compared to regular Facebook Messenger. Your child won’t be able to find any inappropriate material when they use it.

You Have To Create Your Child’s Page

Your child can’t create their own Facebook page. In order to use Messenger For Kids, you need to log in with your credentials, verify your information, and then create a page for your child. That means they can’t use Messenger independently. In order to see their messages, posts, and chats, you’ll need to have access to their device. However, you’ll be able to see everything they do on the app, so they can’t hide things from you. This means you’ll be able to run a people search on anyone they’re talking to.

It’s Not Foolproof

Messenger For Kids has a decent design and it is built for safety. But it’s not perfect. That’s why parents should be wary of letting kids use it unsupervised.

5 Ways Smart Tech Makes Holidays Easier

The holidays are coming up quickly. Even though they’re a time for families, parties, and celebrating, they can also be very stressful. Trying to get all the shopping, baking, mailing, and other tasks done, as well as throwing holiday get togethers for friends and family, can make anyone stressed out. But this holiday season, technology websites offer and recommend gadgets that can make your holidays less stressful. This way, you can make sure that you have time to actually enjoy the company of your loved ones. Here are five ways that you can use modern technology to make holidays easier:

Smart Ordering

Grocery shopping is difficult enough to begin with. When you have to shop for your normal groceries, plus all those extras you need to make holiday cookies, Thanksgiving dinner, and party snacks, going to the grocery store is enough to make anyone melt down. But this year, you can skip that stress by ordering your groceries at home. Forget about wandering up and down the aisles or fighting over that last frozen turkey.

Most major retailers including Walmart, Target and Whole Foods have online ordering now. You can shop online with your phone, computer, or tablet. Alternatively, you could use a smart home receiver, like Amazon’s Alexa, which is very popular on numerous technology websites. This device will let you order your groceries by voice. Then, all you have to do is pay online and drive to the store to pick it up. The store’s employees will bag your order and place it in a cooler in the front of the store. You can just drive up, load up your groceries, and be on your way.

Smart Shopping

It's easier to do your holiday shopping online.
Save yourself the hassle and do your holiday shopping online.

 

Two words that strike fear into the heart of any parent are “Black Friday.” Crowds of shoppers all fight over the hottest toys and gadgets, ranked by technology websites. There’s no parking within a mile of any store, and you’ll have to drive endlessly from store to store to find the exact gifts that your kids want. No one needs that. Skip it. Order the gifts your kids really want and have them delivered right to your door. You won’t have to worry about stores running out of stock or all the other holiday shopping hassles. Many online retailers also offer free shipping and other deals on holiday gifts.

Looking Up Recipes

Tired of having to dig through drawers and flip through recipe books when your hands are covered in flour, dough, or other foods as you cook? Store all your recipes on a tablet, like the iPad Pro, and just ask Siri for help when you need to find a particular recipe. Or, you can use Amazon’s Echo and let Alexa recite the recipe to you.

Smart Decorating

Christmas decorating will go a lot faster when you ditch outdated decorations and go with modern LED lights. Plug them all into a smart outlet and you can turn on your decorations with a voice command. You can also set them on a timer so that they aren’t glowing all night long. I’ve seen numerous technology websites that say this is the future of holiday decorations.

Smart Mailing

Skip the hour long line at the post office for mailing your holiday gifts to friends and family. Instead, print postage online and schedule a mail pickup right at home for all your holiday packages.