A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Over the Line? is a discussion board for teens who are struggling with difficult situations -- everything from being pressured to have sex by a boyfriend or girlfriend to self-esteem issues to bullying. Users can submit their own stories and read and rate others' to anonymously help peers learn what's considered appropriate and what's not. The topics discussed are mature and not age appropriate for young children, but teens might find comfort in learning that they're not alone. Beyond the group discussions, Over the Line? offers contact information for several real-world programs that can help, including the National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. It also defines and discusses ramifications of sexting, spying, constant messaging, and more. The app, which is part of MTV's "A Thin Line" initiative to stop the spread of digital abuse, has stability issues, and sometimes crashes randomly.
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Is it any good?
As parents, we hope that our kids will come to us when they're facing tough situations. But as kids get older, that doesn't always happen. In an era of digital harrassment and sexting, kids are often too embarrassed or ashamed to talk to their parents. Over the Line? is a useful tool for them to learn that they're not alone and to learn what others are going through. Beyond the community aspects, which are carefully monitored, it also offers straightforward information and resources to help kids in trouble. It's not ideal, but if nothing else, it lets kids talk about their fears and situations that embarrass them in an inviting, anonymous forum.