In this Parent University newsletter we talk about the World Health Organization officially recognizing gaming disorder and the warning signs, which social media network is making it easier to monitor app activity, the new Fortnite: Battle Royale feature parents need to know about, and more.
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World Health Organization officially recognizes gaming disorder as a mental health condition
The Internal Classification of Diseases is the foundation for identifying health trends and statistics worldwide. In the latest edition of its Internal Classification of Diseases, the World Health Organization officially recognized gaming disorder.
According to the organization, there are 3 signs that someone might be struggling with gaming disorder:
- Impaired control over gaming (e.g. onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context)
- Increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities
- Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences
If you think your child might struggle with gaming or screen time addiction, please read our parent guide for Developing Healthy Screen Time Habits.
What parents need to know about the new Playground mode in Fortnite: Battle Royale
Set to launch June 26, 2018, the new Playground mode in Fortnite: Battle Royale is one of the most highly anticipated releases since the launch of the game. Playground will be a set time mode where users can choose which friends they play with.
The players will be play a custom game set on a private island. Players can build, explore, practice and compete with each other without having to worry about being killed. Playground mode has no set competition, so users can decide if they want to compete with their friends or not. Players can still get hurt in Playground mode. We suspect this feature will be very popular with students since it will be similar to Minecraft where players can build unique creations. If your student plays Fortnite, please read our Fortnite: Battle Royale Safety Guide for Parents.
Musical.ly closes down the Live.ly app
Musical.ly has disabled the standalone Live.ly app. Moving forward, the Musical.ly app will offer the live streaming options that were previously available on Live.ly. Not all Musical.ly users will have the ability to livestream right away since the update will be a phase roll out. If your children use the app, please watch our Musical.ly App Safety Guide for Parents to learn how you can keep your family safe.
Parents will be surprised to learn teens still use this social media platform
Instagram “meme accounts” are on the rise, with some major accounts earning millions of younger followers. Meme accounts are Instagram accounts that post screenshots of memes from other social media networks – most notably Twitter. A meme is a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users. Even though teens may not be posting to Twitter regularly, they are flocking to the platform to screenshot content and post it on Instagram. Parents should know that just because a teen is following a meme account on Instagram doesn’t necessarily mean they will follow them on Twitter. Instagram meme account creators say that the majority of their Instagram audience doesn’t follow them on Twitter.
Some teens say that the reason meme accounts are so popular on Instagram is because younger users feel more comfortable posting their opinion on a screenshot of a meme then on a picture of someone’s face. Consider talking to your children about meme accounts on Instagram, ask them if they follow any, and check out the accounts to ensure they are suitable for your child. If your student uses Instagram, please read our Instagram Safety Guide for Parents to learn how you can keep your kids safe (and find out if they have a secret account).
Source: The Verge
Instagram launches a long-form video hub called IGTV
IGTV is like YouTube for Instagram but users post vertical videos instead of traditional horizontal videos. Users can watch IGTV in the Instagram app or download the standalone app. Larger accounts can post videos up to 60 minutes long while smaller accounts can post videos up to 10 minutes long. As of this newsletter, IGTV does not have any ads. It’s unlikely that there will be scripted-style videos on IGTV; videos will resemble YouTube video content. IGTV is not live, users shoot their video first before uploading it to the platform. When a user opens IGTV, video will automatically start playing and users can “flip through the channels” by swiping their screen. The “channels” that are in your feed are based on the accounts you follow. Users can watch IGTV based on different categories:
- For You: Videos Instagram thinks you’ll like based on the people you follow
- Following: Videos from the accounts you follow
- Popular: Trending videos on IGTV
Popular teen app announces feature that will monitor users app usage
Instagram announced that they are building tools which will help the community know more about the time they spend on the app. The tool will be called Time Well Spent. Although the feature has not been launched yet, some of the features that are rumored to be included are:
- Total daily minutes spent on the app
- The ability to set a daily time limit, and receive a reminder if the limit is exceeded
Source: Tech Crunch
Facebook announces Memories
Facebook launches a standalone page called “Memories” which acts like a expansion of the “On This Day” feature. Content on the Memories page will be filled with moments you’ve shared with your friends and family. Although the content on the Memories page is not new, Facebook created the Memories page to make the content more easily accessible. Users can configure their Memories page to exclude any sensitive content that they don’t want to revisit. Please read our Facebook Safety Guide for Parents if your children (or their friends) use the app.
YouTube launches a Spotify competitor
YouTube launched a new subscription service called YouTube Music. The difference between YouTube Music and apps like Spotify or Pandora is that both music streaming and video content will all be in one place on the app. Users who pay for YouTube Music will receive features like:
- Offline mixtape which will generate 20-100 songs everyday to listen to offline
- Robust search tool similar to Google which allows users to search for songs with things like lyrics or things related to the video/song
YouTube Music subscriptions will be available for $9.99 per month. If your student has access to a mobile device, tablet, or computer, please watch our YouTube Safety Guide for Parents to learn how to keep your family safe.