Message on Apps from Principal Mike Burns

Dear Chatham Families,

Do you know what apps are on your child’s phone? Back in 1999 I got my first cell phone, and man did I think I was cool. It was a Motorola flip phone with a green screen and it came with an even cooler belt clip. I could do two things with it, call or text, but it was the first time I could communicate with my friends from anywhere and that changed everything. I don’t know how we managed to communicate or find each other before then. Between 1999 and now, that flip phone has evolved into a powerful computer in my pocket capable of doing just about anything. If you own a smartphone, no longer do you need a map, a camera, or a C.D. player (yes, I’m dating myself here) because now there’s an app for that. And apps aren’t just on our phones, they are on our watches, in our cars, and even in our homes. If you don’t believe me, just ask Alexa! While apps can be very beneficial, they also can pose real dangers, especially for young people. So I’ll ask again, do you know what apps your child uses? I’m sure you’ve heard of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, but what about WhatsApp or TikTok? Linked below, please find an article on TikTok, a video-based social media app that has become explosively popular among tweens and teens.

5 Things Parents Need to Know about Tik-Tok (Updated 2020)


Technology trends change quickly and the best way to keep up with all the new wonders and dangers is to stay informed. Be smart about social media by talking to your kids about it and knowing what apps they are using and how they use them. If you are unfamiliar with the apps they have, Google those apps. I’ll continue to date myself by quoting an ad slogan that NBC used back in the 90’s, “The More You Know.” Hopefully, the more conversations you have with your child and the more informed you are as a parent, the more we all will be able to safely navigate the Social Media Age we now live in.

Michael Burns

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