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Wellbeing News – 14 November 2019


Our young people have access to a whole world in their mobile devices. The rate at which new apps are developed can leave parents wondering how to keep up with the expanding scope of what your people are engaging in online, often away from our involvement. We know that this online engagement has major impact on their wellbeing, including their sense of identity and their relationships with others. As parents, the more informed we are to engage in this world, the better we can offer support and guidance.

Navigating the ever changing online and app space is an area that is constantly at the forefront of parenting in today’s world. Knowing about the apps that are available can help parents to understand and support their young people to make informed choices about responsible online engagement.

There are two main areas of online engagement that are often raised by parents: online relationships and anonymous communication. Both are explored below via information taken from the e-safety commissioner website. In this section of the website, you can learn about the latest games, apps and social media, including how to protect your information and report inappropriate content. 

For more information, including details about more apps listed, you can visit the website:


Online relationships

Online relationships can occur in any online services that allow two-way communication. The relationship may be for friendship, companionship, romance or even business. It may be between people who know one another offline or they may have connected online. If the people in the relationship do not know one another offline, they may never meet in person.


What are the benefits?
  • Meet and connect with new people
    You can meet with new people that you would otherwise not otherwise meet.
  • Get to know someone before you meet in person
    You can get to know someone and form a deeper connection with them before you meet in person. 
  • Online relationships can rise above everyday stresses
    Connecting with someone online can be a great way to create positive connections and relieve stress.
  • Collaborate and work with other people 
    You can share a joke with a colleague on the other side of the world and work more effectively with them. 


What are the risks?
  • People may not be who they say they are
    It can be easier for someone to pretend to be someone else in order to abuse, scam or extort money from you.  
  • Tactics such as trickery and flattery
    People can use tactics to get you to do things you would otherwise not do.
  • Messages and images may be shared or copied without your consent 
    The person you are in an online relationship with may share your messages or images without your permission.
  • Unwanted contact or contact from strangers
    You could receive unwanted communication or communication from people you do not know.


Apps/games that support online relationships include:

airG, Aminal Jam, AskFM, Bumble, Call of Duty, Discord, Counter Strike, Fortnite Battle Royale, Grinr, Instagram, Live Me, Likee, Minecraft, Melon, Omegle, Periscope,, Snapchat, Second Life, TikTok.


Anonymous Communication

Anonymous online services allow people to communicate and share content without revealing their name or true identity.

People may use pseudonyms or made up names. However, not all services that claim to be anonymous are truly anonymous. Your online activity and the content you share may still be traceable and recordable in some way.


What are the benefits?
  • A sense of freedom
    You can find like-minded people and connect without feeling constrained by your offline identity.
  • Being anonymous allows you to explore your identity online
    You can explore your sexuality and gender without having to settle on a label or risk the judgment of people or laws that may restrict your offline identity.
  • Freedom of information
    Anonymity can help to allow information that is in the public good to be shared online. 


What are the risks?
  • They may not really be anonymous
    Most anonymous online services cannot guarantee that your activity and information will be kept completely private.
  • Inadvertent disclosure
    You may reveal enough information about yourself to allow other users to piece together who you are, where you live or other key details. 
  • Cyberbullying, online abuse and hate
    The risk of cyberbullying, online abuse and hate speech increases if people think their behaviour and actions are anonymous. 


Apps that support anonymous communication include:

AskFM, Kik, Melon, MiniClip, Omegle,, Second Life, Roblox, Yolo


In addition to the advice on the website of the e-safety commissioner, the following article provides some information about apps that parents may benefit from knowing about.


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