As parents, it is easy to feel out of the loop on current teen trends and pop culture. However, it is vital for parents to strive to understand the ways that trends could impact their children, such as with apps on phones or other devices. Two such apps, NGL and BeReal, demonstrate Gen Z's desire for authenticity, but in very different ways.
An app called NGL recently surged up the App Store's popularity charts among teens who are trapped inside during the recent heatwave. NGL is an acronym meaning "not gonna lie." It indicates that you are giving your authentic opinion or telling the truth. NGL allows users to receive anonymous feedback, advice and answers. The creators of the app say that NGL is different from other anonymous platforms because they implemented AI (Artificial Intelligence) to filter out any negative, harmful or abusive content. However, this AI is not strong enough. There have been multiple reports of abusive content slipping through the AI. Anonymous interaction with no accountability is never a good idea, no matter your age.
Another app called BeReal is now #1 in the App Store. BeReal is similar to Instagram in that users post pictures or videos from their daily lives. But BeReal is designed to be more authentic than other social media platforms. When the app alerts you, you have two minutes to post with no filters or editing. The creators of BeReal wanted a less toxic way of connecting and sharing our lives. However, no social media comes without risks. In order to protect your child's privacy and safety, you still need to make sure to adjust the app's parental control settings to turn off geolocation and ensure that public posts are off.