Are your children huge fans of fictional worlds such as Marvel, Harry Potter, The Lord of The Rings, Star Wars, etc.? Do they love making up stories using their imagination? If they have excellent stories to tell, you might want to familiarize yourself with Wattpad.
What is Wattpad?
You might be wondering, what is Wattpad? It is a popular social media platform that enables users to share their creative work with an international audience. The most common genres on this app include short stories, poems, books, horror, fantasy, romance, and so on. It is a place for those who love to get immersed in reading or writing stories.
How Does It Work?
All users must create a profile to begin using this platform. The process of signing up is simple and easy to follow. Once you set up an account, you can immediately start sharing your work or reading others content.
Wattpad also allows its users to edit their work whenever they want. Users may share stories, pictures, and other things they like. You can also post comments on others’ work and receive critiques from a global audience.
Users may access Wattpad via its website or mobile application to read or write stories on the go. Now that ‘What is Wattpad?’ has been answered, the next logical question would be ‘Is it safe for teenage kids to use?’.
Is It Safe For Teenage Kids To Use?
According to Wattpad’s policies, all users have to be over the age of 13. However, it still raises red flags for parents. Their concerns regarding the inappropriate content are valid since there is no actual filter or guideline to control the kind of material posted on this platform.
In simpler words, any user can upload whatever content they want. That opens doors to a whole slew of risks. Any kid may come across things they shouldn’t be reading or seeing. Let’s look at what your kids might find on this platform.
Risks of Using Wattpad
There are several things you should beware of as a parent. Your kid may come across any of the following issues on this platform.
Wattpad has been involved in the controversy of violent incidents, as reported by a parent. Your kid may come across stories that embellish acts of violence. Therefore, one must keep a cautious eye out.
Wattpad was reported for incidents of sexual violence as well. Many online predators have taken advantage of this platform to perpetrate horrific acts. Some parents have reported that online predators have lured and abused young girls to commit sexual activities via Wattpad. Since kids over 13 can use this platform, parents must watch their online activities.
Some parents reported that the app does not filter extremely mean or rude comments. Therefore, as parents, we must take measures to mitigate the risk of cyberbullying.
- Drinking and drug abuse
Since it is an open platform with millions of international users, there is a risk of getting introduced to indecent strangers. A parent reported that their kid was lured into drug abuse by a lone user on this platform.
- Dark Stories/Fantasies
Sometimes people find it therapeutic to pour their hearts out and uncover dysfunctional or dark aspects of their lives. However, young minds are often not strong/mature enough to handle such subjects. For instance, the stories on eating disorders, sexual abuse, drug issues, violence, etc., may find their way to your kids’ screens. Keeping a close watch on their activities is the best way to protect them from such disturbing realities of life.
- Promotion of Predatory/Sexual Relations
The world has no shortage of sickos who take pleasure in glorifying predatory behavior or incestual relations such as brother-sister, father-daughter, teacher-student, and so on. Promoting such relationships as normal and acceptable (when they are actually illegal and immoral) is extremely dangerous for fragile young minds. Kids may come across such stories and get involved in something truly disturbing.
Mitigate These Risks With Parental Controls
The benefits of using Wattpad outweigh the risks by a lot. However, the high intensity of these risks begs the question – is it safe for teenage kids to use? Parents may take the bull by the horns and decide what their kids should not access. Let’s consider what measures you can take as a parent to nullify these risks.
- Educate Your Kids
The best thing you can do is educate your kids about the existing dangers and their consequences. Talking to them as friends and letting them know what details they must not share with the world helps. Personal data such as identity information, credit card numbers, residential addresses, and so on must be kept secret.
- Review Privacy Settings
Ensure all confidential information, such as what school they attend, their date of birth, etc., stays concealed. Only allow known friends or family members to view such information instead of making it public. To prevent the threat of cyberbullying, set the comments settings to just friends. That way, no stranger would be able to bully or exploit your kid.
- Utilize Parental Control Apps
If the question ‘Is it safe for teenage kids?’ is still lingering in your mind. Let me put it to rest. You can make it safer for your kids to use Wattpad by utilizing a parental control app/software. For instance, FamilyTime is a parental control app that allows you to filter out inappropriate materials, including text, images, and videos. Your teenage kids would not be able to access any indecent content. Moreover, you can control how much time they can spend on this app by limiting their screen time.
How Can FamilyTime Help You Enhance Safety Features for Wattpad?
FamilyTime app can help parents ensure that it is safe for teenage kids to use Wattpad. Here is a list of features that may give parents a sense of control and peace of mind.
- Internet Filter & Web History
FamilyTime’s internet filter is revered highly amongst its users. It has extensive filtering capacity and can block a wide array of keywords in addition to indecent websites, images, texts, videos, and so on. You can also monitor your kids’ internet history and see if they try to access things they should not. Parents can also choose to receive instant alerts in case their kids try to access content related to pornography, violence, drugs, weapons, gambling, etc.
- App Blocker & App Usage
These two features allow parents the freedom to prevent their kids from wasting their time on indecent applications. You can block any app you deem unfit with its App Blocker. On the other hand, the app usage function helps you monitor how much time your teenager is spending on a particular app. That lets you modify their routine and limit their usage time if needed.
- Limit Screen Time
You can easily limit your kids’ screen time with this feature. Allowing kids to spend a set time on their devices helps them lead a better lifestyle. It may help them improve their concentration on other activities, such as studying, sleeping, eating, spending quality time with family and friends, etc.
In Other Words, …
The internet is a tool. People may use it for good or bad since it depends on who uses it and for what purpose. It is undoubtedly the responsibility of parents to help their kids understand the consequences of their actions. In the eagerness to keep up with the latest technological trends, one cannot afford to get caught up in the ugliness of the world. FamilyTime can help you shield your kids from the horrific side of Wattpad. It can resolve the ‘Is it safe for teenage kids to use?’ query with ease. If your interest is piqued, take a look at all the incredible ways it can make your life easier.