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MeetMe is one of the most harmful applications accessible to kids, despite having a 4-star Google Play rating and over 100 million users. This software is made to look exactly like other popular social networking applications like Facebook and Instagram. Unfortunately, these parallels conceal a considerably more serious threat. Teens are naturally drawn to social networking applications, particularly those that promise new acquaintances and partnerships. Teens may find MeetMe appealing, but parents should exercise great caution if they decide to allow their children to use it. In most circumstances, staying away from the app is the best option! Here’s everything you need to know to make the greatest choice for your family.
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The App’s Operation
MeetMe focuses on helping your adolescent form new friendships. While Facebook and similar applications focus on connecting with old and new friends, MeetMe focuses almost entirely on introducing your adolescent to strangers. While there’s nothing wrong with making new acquaintances, we don’t always think it’s safe or wise to reach out to strangers via the internet.
Users build up their profiles right away after registering an account, utilizing an active Facebook account or email address. Various profiles for other people in the vicinity appear in a couple of seconds. Users may browse a broad array of public information for persons living in the area. Members are encouraged to communicate on a frequent basis and perhaps meet up in person with other users.
Users may also earn “MeetMe Credits,” popularly known as “Lunch Money,” to help them grow their profile and acquire more views. Their profiles will get additional attention as a result of these credits. It also enables people to look for other users using different search categories such as relationship status, age, sex, location, and even body type. These credits may be acquired by participating in a variety of app activities, such as:
- Purchasing credits • Frequent activity (logging on everyday)
- Frequently looking at other people’s profiles
- Interacting with other users on a regular basis
- During games, connecting with “hidden admirers”
It’s simple to understand why this software is so detrimental for teens as a parent. MeetMe is a dating app, despite its marketing as a simple method to find “new friends.” Viewing profiles of the opposing sex is encouraged and even rewarded. This app was featured in a list of the top 6 dating apps used by teenagers published by the Blog Post. In and of itself, dating applications are risky temptations for teenagers, but MeetMe takes it to a whole new level with these warning flags:
- Minimum Age Requirements
Although the app indicates that users must be at least 13 years old, there is no age verification method in place to ensure that this is the case. With around 194.2 million views in the United States alone, it’s reasonable to conclude that this app is used by people of all ages. While our teenagers may believe they are conversing with another teenager, they are really conversing with someone twice their age.
- Negative Recommendations
Users are rewarded with MeetMe Credits for completing certain activities on the program. This gives the app a “arcade-like” atmosphere, and kids may lose sight of the fact that their choices on the app have very significant, real-world ramifications. They may get so engrossed in winning the app’s games that they forget they are interacting with actual strangers.
MeetMe has a “open-door” approach when it comes to user profiles. There are no privacy options, so any information your child enters onto their personal page will be seen to everyone. The software encourages users to be open and reveal personal information in order to “assist” them in making relationships with other users. It’s very uncommon for users’ news feeds to include sexually explicit and even pornographic content. Everything is out in the open, including your teen’s information, and everyone can see it.
Stranger Danger’s Consequences
The City Attorney of San Francisco sued MeetMe in 2014 after three particular sex offenses were linked to MeetMe members. A 29-year-old guy was charged with numerous counts of sexual misconduct with a child in August of that year. MeetMe was one of the social media channels he used to send his teenage victims obscene photographs and texts. A 21-year-old male was arrested the same year for impersonating a 16-year-old kid in order to deceive two young girls into performing sexual activities with him.
“I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a corporation that has been more reckless in terms of not promoting the right privacy safeguards and really breaching standards that the (California) attorney general has put in place,” City Attorney Dennis Herrera said when asked about the complaint against MeetMe.
“The goal of MeetMe is to enable strangers to engage and meet online,” he said flatly.
Despite the fact that MeetMe is still a popular social media site, the negative consequences of this harmful software are still visible. Many young children are still unknowingly communicating with dangerous predators, fully ignorant of the life-altering implications of this app.
How to Keep Your Teenagers Safe
Your adolescent may just be seeking for new acquaintances and is unaware of the hazards lurking around them. Discuss the dangers of reaching out to strangers or providing personal information with them. If they still want to make new friends, lead them to safe places like after-school clubs, adolescent organizations at your local church or synagogue, sports teams, and other well-regulated activities.
If you’re worried that your kid is already using MeetMe, talk to them about it and explain the risks. Try to figure out what information they’ve provided and whether any strangers have tried to contact them. If your kid is being targeted by possible predators using the app, you may need to conduct some damage control and maybe inform authorities. If you have any doubts, get advice from a reputable source before removing the program. It might have the information they need.
Whether or whether your kid uses MeetMe, frequent safety checks on their phones and internet gadgets are essential for preventing harmful applications like this. It’s also a good idea to use a reliable parental control to restrict applications that you think are unsafe or unsuitable. The ability to learn is crucial. When you use Avosmart, see what additional programs you can ban in an instant.