A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
After registering with a Facebook account or email address, SIT WITH US users can either search for tables welcoming other people at lunchtime or invite others to sit with them as they eat. They can also apply to be "Ambassadors" who host open lunches from time to time by reading and agreeing to a pledge. Teens fill out a profile, which often includes a picture of them and their interests, so they might know a little about whom they'll be dining with -- and can use the app to chat with friends they make at the lunches, expanding their social circles. As teens join and host lunches, they earn points.
Is it any good?
It would be hard to find an app with more honorable intentions, and it's sure to do a lot of good; however, as with most things, some are sure to find loopholes to use it for negative purposes as well. Sit With Us is focused on combating isolation and encourages teens to make their schools an inclusive environment. To the app's credit, it makes it easy to do so. Adding an event (which people in your ZIP code can see) is simple. And the app acts as a social media hub as well, letting you chat with any new friends you meet at a lunch you attend. Better still, shy kids who don't want to risk rejection by asking if they can sit with someone new can unobtrusively find a place to sit and socialize without the face-to-face risk when walking up to a table of strangers.
There are some risks, though relatively small. The app doesn't verify user information or age, meaning people with less-than-kind intentions could use it to spot potentially vulnerable children. And while there are ways to report inappropriate behavior and block users, some teens are bound to find ways to use the app's features for unintended and negative purposes. Because of this, it's important for parents to discuss the potential risks as well as the advantages of such an app before letting their kids use it. Overall, however, it's an overwhelmingly positive use of the typical social media model with a practical, empathy-building purpose conceptualized by someone who understands the need -- a teenager!
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Skills: Emotional Development: empathy, perspective taking
Communication: friendship building
Responsibility & Ethics: embracing differences, respect for others
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: December 7, 2016
- Category: Social Networking
- Topics: High school
- Size: 89.60 MB
- Publisher: Carolyn Hampton
- Version: 1.3.4
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later
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