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To be held Tuesday, January 22nd, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Crossroads Christian Church Chapel, 10800 Lincoln Ave., Newburgh, IN

Youth First, Inc., Warrick County Cares, and Evansville Christian Schools (ECS) are joining to begin a discussion about the pros, cons and effects of social media on our children and youth.  According to the Pew Research Center, in 2018, 95 percent of teens report they have a smartphone or access to one and 45 percent say they are online “almost constantly.” 

Moderator Gretchen Muchnick, (ECS School Board Member, FC Tucker Emge Realty VP of Marketing, & WFIE News Personality), will guide a panel of local experts to provide insight to parents, youth workers and other adults who want to know how social media and screen time are impacting our children and teens.    

Panelists:

  • David McClary, ECS Campus Principal (grades 8 – 11)
  • Mark Wickersham, ECSCampus Principal (grades 6 – 7)
  • Officer Dale Naylor, Warrick County Reserve Deputy Officer
  • Laura Keys, Youth First Director of Social Work
  • Dr. James Schroeder, VP of Psychology, Evansville Easterseals Rehabilitation Center
  • ECS Students – Kira Johnson, Junior, and Berkeley Neikirk, Sophomore


Local teens will share the ins and outs of the most popular apps such as SnapChat, Instagram, and Omegle, and how adults can keep children and teens safe while online.

The media is invited to attend.

By Jordan Beach, MSW – Courier & Press – April 24, 2018 –

As a school social worker, I work with kids every day. I like to think that I’m pretty up-to-date on all the newest apps that students at my school use.

I want to be in tune with the ever-changing social media aspects that fill our children’s lives, but if I’m being honest with myself, I know that’s not true.  By the time I figure out what I believe to be the “newest” app, my students are telling me they aren’t using that one anymore and they have moved on to something new.

So what can you do to ensure your child is being responsible online, especially if you find it difficult to even keep up with the apps they are using?

For starters, do your research. Know what apps are popular. Most parents know the basics: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Musically…but what are we missing?

  • Yik Yak: Yik Yak is an anonymous social media site that takes zero personal information to create. Every post from every user is anonymous. This is especially concerning in the hands of younger students who often struggle with using social media in a positive way.
  • Ask f.m.: This app is set up in a question/answer format.  This again is troubling for younger users who tend to use social media for validation. Questions and answers can be posted either using a name or anonymously.
  • Kik: Kik is essentially another way for kids to text each other. It thrives on giving a more “face to face” feeling by using images, and pictures are part of its allure. However, this app is easily accessible and often times used as a way to meet strangers. This app certainly puts your child at risk to predators.
  • Voxer: Voxer turns your phone into a walkie-talkie style device. Youth enjoy the app for this diversity in communication styles but it also poses a concern to parents.  Messages on this app can be saved and replayed.  This is both a blessing and a curse.  Again, this app is concerning when used inappropriately to put people down.
  • Other Programs to be aware of: Programs or instructions to “jailbreak” a phone are easy to find. This means the phone is free of limitations imposed on it by its manufacturer and carrier. Once your child’s phone has been “jailbroken” they can add apps that don’t come directly from an app store.  Most commonly apps being utilized in this way are used to hide other apps from the main screen.  Do some research about these jailbreak apps so you can see what the icon looks like.  This will help you identify if one of these apps is being used on your child’s device.

So what steps can you take to keep your child safe online without being the type of parent that is watching every move they make? As our kids get older we want to give them some additional freedom to learn and make mistakes, but we also need to know they’re safe.

Here are some tips to ensure your child is safe online:

  1. Talk about it. Know what apps they’re using and ask them to be transparent.
  2. Have active accounts and befriend them on major social media accounts.
  3. Have their passwords. Don’t abuse this, but letting them know you have the ability to log in and see what they’re doing at any time can be helpful.