MeetMe - Chat and Meet New People
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
What's it about?
Teens will find plenty of ways to make new acquaintances on MEETME - CHAT AND MEET NEW PEOPLE; users can video chat, IM, or e-mail each other. However, since users range in age from 13 to 40-plus, including people in or near your zip code, parents may not be thrilled about their child's new social status. The app has a strong focus on meeting potential dates, who are also complete strangers -- coupled with the fact profile pictures contain men and women in their underwear and users downing alcohol.
Is it any good?
This social networking site and app says it’s the place for "flirting, making friends, and even falling in love," but many parents would beg to differ. You have to be over 13 to register, but teens can easily contact, and be contacted by, users in their 20s, 30s and beyond; and there's definitely more emphasis on dating than making friends. The tools that MeetMe - Chat and Meet New People and its corresponding website use to help teens meet people often go against best practices for internet safety and privacy. You can find other users within a few miles of where you live or secretly admire other users. A blind date game measures your compatibility with other players and gives you an option to e-mail them at the end. Members can chat, e-mail and video chat each other through the site. All members can also see your profile, and unless you purchase the stealth browsing option, they'll be able to see that you’ve viewed theirs. The developers say they've handed out safety education information to high schools and there are "report abuse" and "block profile" features; yet, the overall tone of this social network -- whether on the website or the app -- doesn't encourage positive online choices for teens.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about what privacy settings you should check for when signing up for a new social networking site like MeetMe - Chat and Make New People. Should you automatically assume only friends can see your profile? Make sure your kids understand the risks of revealing personal information online.
How should you react if a new (or old) friend posts an inappropriate comment on your profile?
Talk about staying safe. How can you tell if someone who wants to friend you is an OK person to talk to? Should you ever start IMing or e-mailing with total strangers, even if they, for example, say they live in your area or go to your school?