YouNow – GO LIVE AND SHARE YOUR WORLD

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There is an app that is gaining in popularity. The app is called YouNow. Some people refer to YouNow as being a live YouTube.

 

HOW DOES IT WORK

You can broadcast your life with YouNow. With YouNow and your smartphone, tablet or computer, you can live-stream to the world whatever you are doing and wherever you are doing it. Of course the majority of people using this app are teenagers.  The app says that users should be 13 or older. I think users should be 17 or older.  As I have said many times before, technology in and of itself is not bad. It all depends on who is using the technology and how it’s being used.

There are different channels on YouNow such as channels to watch people sleep or dance. There are channels where you can watch bored people, LGBT people, guys, girls, and truth or dare.

Your status on YouNow increases based on how many people like whatever you are doing live online. The people (strangers) watching you become your fan and give you virtual gifts such as kisses, roses, coins, a thumbs up, etc.

PARENT CONCERNS

  • Kids filming themselves in their bedrooms where there could be personally identifiable info in the background. I used this app for the very first time a few days ago. I downloaded the app at 8:05pm. At 8:15pm I was watching a live video stream of a girl who looked to be about 15. She was in her bedroom. She was asking people what they thought about what shirt looked best with various shorts. Of course she received chat requests to take of her shirt or shorts off in front of the camera.  She declined and would walk off camera, change clothes and then come back in front of the camera. I did not watch for very long and don’t know if she ever gave in to the pressure. I am willing to bet if she did not, there are young girls out there who will.

  • YouNow reserves the right to reuse your content as it wishes.

  • You can view videos and remain anonymous… not register. YouNow wants you to sign up\register using Facebook, Twitter or Google+, but you really don’t have to. I never registered and was able to view all types of live streaming videos.

YouNow’s guidelines forbid sexual content, nudity, and bullying, but as with any other social media site or app, there is no way to 100% stop such behavior. There are young people flashing underwear on YouNow. I think over time kids will be showing more than underwear on YouNow because:

  • Young people are notorious for over-sharing.

  • Young people (especially those with low-self-esteem) really want to be popular. If they can’t achieve a certain level of status or popularity offline, they will look for it online.

  • You increase your status on YouNow the more you chat, broadcast, like, gain fans and become fans of others. Who do you think will gain more fans, the cute girl live streaming herself discussing War and Peace or the cute girl live streaming herself flashing various body parts?

  • I am pretty sure online predators will be trolling for new “friends” on YouNow. It is a great way to befriend and groom possible future victims in real-time.

WHAT IS A PARENT TO DO?

  • What can parents do? The answer is the same regarding YouNow and all other social media sites and apps:

  • Talk early and talk often to your children about online dangers. Also, don’t forget to listen to your child as well. Let your kids know they can come to you for help at any time no matter what.

  • Be nosy. Know what sites and apps your child uses. Know what they are doing. Know who they are communicating with.

  • Get up to speed with technology and stay there, be in the know.

 

 

John L. Jones

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