Dear LL Parents,
A new app called the Monkey app is becoming popular with elementary aged students. I do not recommend this app for students, but especially not for the elementary aged student. The Monkey app is an app that connects users to talk with strangers for 15 second video chats using their Snapchat usernames. Users are randomly paired with strangers for a 15 second video chat and link to usernames and phone numbers when the child signs up for the app. Other users then see the age and gender of the other user before connecting with them in a 15 second chat. Users do have the option to extend their video chat time past 15 seconds and add other users to their Snapchat to keep the conversation going.
The Monkey app relies on Facebook or Snapchat to verify that the user is over the age of 13 and users can post a “moment” for all of their followers to view. Direct messaging allows users to chat privately and users earn “bananas” (points) by using the app which for younger students may seem game like.
The concern is that adults will utilize this app to groom children by communicating with them and eventually establishing a rapport with them. Younger students don’t always know what information is appropriate to share online with strangers. Please help us keep your child safe online by regularly spot checking your child’s devices, have conversations with them about what to post and what should never be posted and make it safe for your child to report things they see, or hear online. It takes a community to keep our student safe with all the technology out there today!
- Information about the Monkey app was taken from Josh at SmartSocial.com