Kids and Mxit
For South African Parents, there is yet another safety concern - Mxit. Speak to any mobile phone teen user's parents, who generally have a very strong opinion on Mxit, and they are either totally against it, or they accept it. Let's face it, there have been horror stories regarding young girls that have decided to hook up with fellow Mxit users and in some cases, it is an older person masquerading as a teen, however, this has been happening for generations. Before we ban our children from joining Mxit, why not allow our teens to educate us on the benefits of this Mobile Instant Messaging Software.
Since I am footing my children's mobile phone bill, I have found Mxit to be a cheap and affordable method of communication. Children are able to enjoy instant messaging with a group of friends for an unlimited period of time, and the cost is usually around 50 cents. Kids have found it a great way to share views on what happened during the day, arrange get togethers, or simply keep in touch.
Most parents have an understanding of social network internet websites, such as Face Book and Mxit works on the same principles, a user will need to confirm or deny a friend and they have the chance to invite school friends, etc to join their Mxit contacts. Consider getting a telephone call in the 80's from a person posing to be a friend, we had the choice to put down the receiver and not take the call - Mxit users have the same level of freedom. Should a teen receive a friend request from a person he or she does not know, they have the choice not to accept the invite. Mxit safety boils down to trust.
Do not simply ban Mxit because there have been isolated cases of children running off to meet up with 'friends' on Mxit. Technology is constantly evolving and children need to be educated on the dangers of both internet and mobile phone applications.
Before making the decision to put a ban on Mxit, take the time to find out how Mxit works. The website, www.mxit.com will provide concerned parents with all the information on how Mxit works and there are also several tips which will give parents insight into safety concerns and safety tips on Mxit as well as several online networking sites, such as Face Book.
Teens and kids are technologically advanced and we need to give them the chance to grow in the ever changing world of technology and like all things in life, common sense and trust will go a long way. Find out who your teen's friends are on Mxit and always keep an open mind and remind your teens about the dangers which lurk not only on Mxit but in the real world.