There’s a new app your teenagers are using, and nobody’s even talking about it. Discord.
Basically it’s a voice and chatting service all in one. Think group Skype calls. The kids can video, chat, talk via voice and just hang out in chat rooms with each other.
There are a couple of things that we as parents need to be aware of when it comes to Discord.
Private chatting is available, so they can carry on convos one-on -one with friends and whoever else they might be talking to. You don’t have to know the person or have their phone number.
Just their username is enough.
Anything they type in the group chat is available for anyone to read even if it was posted into the chat before they got there.
So there’s a potential for hurt feelings. I’ve seen this one happen a couple of different times to different kids. When they get invited into the group, they find out the group has existed without them, or that the group has been talking about them.
It was originally used by gamers to chat while they were playing video games and has been commandeered with teens as a sort of group texting app.
Because of this, there is already a built in adult user base.
You can use it both on a computer and on a phone or iPad. Your account logs into all devices.
The servers your teens chat on are mostly private, and not just anyone can get in without permission or a password, but there are searchable servers out there.
On every topic you could ever imagine.
It’s a little harder to see who your kids have been chatting with than a traditional text message, because everyone can make up their own screen name and choose any avatar they’d like.
I don’t think there’s any cause for alarm when it comes to Discord, but we do need to be aware of it, and that our teenagers are using it.
It’s just important for us all to know WHAT they are doing and how they’re doing it. 🙂