Family News: Apps, Movies, and a Must-See Video

shutterstock_108311792There is a lot going on in the digital world these days and we don’t want you to miss the stuff that will help you raise amazing digital kids, have great family conversations . . . and maintain your post as the most tech-savvy parent at the water cooler (or in the bleachers). So here’s your curated content!

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 5.12.34 PMMust-See Video on Mentoring Your Digital Kids
I have no idea how I missed this Tedx video from my Twitter friend Dr. Devorah Heitner, the founder and director of Raising Digital Natives. This short, but information-packed presentation has so much for parents who want to help their kids thrive (and survive) in a wired world. A media historian, Heitner says the anxiety and fear so many parents have over the dangers social media and their child’s hyper connectivity are a “normal part of the cycle of anxiety about technology,” but we can’t stay there. I won’t give you too many spoilers, so click here to watch the video and let Devorah get you thinking deeper about the world your kids live in every, single day.

New App Analyzes Behavior on Social NetworksScreen Shot 2015-01-21 at 6.13.57 PM

Among the slew of new apps on the market, ThinkUp, is one parents may need to check out, according to a post recently by Ann Collier of Net Family News. ThinkUp is a monthly subscription-based app ($5/mo) that analyzes how people conduct themselves on Twitter and Facebook. The goal? To help users (kids and parents in our case) become more thoughtful, less impulsive, more empathetic and more professional. The really cool part about the app says Collier is that it also reports on non-traditional data such as how often a user thanks and congratulates people, how frequently they swear, who they RT and which posts get the biggest reaction. Read more about the app here.

‘Unfriended’ Storyline Takes on Cyberbullying  . . . Um . . . Sort Of

If you haven’t heard your teen talk about the movie Unfriended, it won’t be long. It’s the I Know What You Did Last Summer-esqe teen horror flick of 2015 only it’s set in the cyber world, zooming in on the social media platform Skype. The premise? Only a parent’s worst nightmare: A teenage girl’s life is devastated when someone posts an anonymous video of her online. She commits suicide and a year later an anonymous person on Skype starts terrorizing other teens to confess about the video post. When they don’t come forward, one by one, they are killed in a variety of ways only a horror film could concoct. Should your kids see it? Well, here’s the movie trailer and description. Good luck!

Is the Daily Feed of ‘Model Motherhood’ Fizzing Out?

Everywhere you turn online your bump into what appears to be the perfect mom battalion posting pictures of her perfect family or engaging in whimsical tension as she debates vaccinations, organic foods, and the pros and cons of homeschooling. I thought I was the only one hiding those feeds but I came across an article this week that gave me hope that the perfect mom obsession online may be sharing the stage with reality more and more. Amy Blanchet, a writer for the Star Tribune recently interviewed some exhausted moms who’ve had enough of the social schmooze, Click here to read more. 

Hackers Taking Online Bids for Services

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Every privacy-sensitive bone in my body tensed up when I read this article in Mashable recently. Seems you can hire a professional hacker for just about anything from nabbing a cheating spouse to hacking an iPhone. The website promotes it’s services saying: “Hiring a hacker shouldn’t be a difficult process, we believe that finding a trustworthy professional hacker for hire should be a worry free and painless experience. At Hacker’s List we want to provide you with the best opportunity to find your ideal hacker and for professional hackers around the world to find you.

When “hacker” becomes as commonplace as “electrician,” in the advertising arena it’s time to amp your online protection because chances are, eventually, you will experience some kind of hit to your privacy. Read more from Mashable here.
Toni Birdsong is a Family Safety Evangelist to McAfee. You can find her on Twitter @McAfee_Family. (Disclosures).

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