A new app called Hoop, has made its way to the top of the App Store Social Media charts. It does not take long for one to realize that the app is Tinder for teenagers.
Users are shown a profile and are able to swipe left or right based on physical appearance. If both users swipe right, the users each receive one another's Snapchat information. While no information is shared outside of Snapchat usernames, one can only imagine the implications of the information exchanged through the app.
Not only does Hoop encourage the use of Snapchat (which can be harmful), the app facilitates predatory behavior and cyber-abuse against young teens. Hoop is not alone. Yubo (formerly known as Yellow), is practically the same app. Known as "Tinder for Teens", Yubo is a "hookup" app for teens. Yubo is also known to have high predatory and privacy risks.
Ask your child if they've heard of Yubo or Hoop. If they are familiar with either of the apps, ask if they've used it or know a friend who has used them. Whether or not your child has used Yubo or Hoop, talk about why others chose to use them and if your child feels it's safe.
Knowing what is on your child's device and engaging in regular conversations about the apps and accounts they use is essential. As you pursue conversations about technology with your child, act as a team. Determine which apps should and should not be used together. Allow them to take part in the discussion knowing that in a few years they will need the tools to assess technology on their own.