There's a new social app on the scene that is becoming very popular amongst tweens and teens, Musical.ly. Users of the app are called Musers, which I think is a very fitting name. Musical.ly reminds me of Instagram except instead of sharing photos, users are sharing lip sync videos.
Just like many social media sites, there are pros and cons. In the case of Musical.ly, I see some pretty big cons and recently when viewing videos with my kids, I said to myself, "I'm glad I didn't grow up in the age of social media."
Should kids be on Musical.ly?
Image: Screenshot of Musical.ly
What Musical.ly Does Well
I get why Musical.ly is popular. I vividly remember dancing and singing in front of any mirror I could find with a hairbrush in my hand as a microphone. Time in the shower for me was a time to belt out tunes.
To a kid like me with music in her soul but not much in the way of a singing voice or dancing skills, Musical.ly would have been hard to resist because it's lip syncing.
The app is geared toward young users who can lip sync to their heart's content to their own music library or to songs stored in the app. Want to show off your dance moves to your favorite song? Go for it!
The videos are great for that. Musers who take these videos and keep them for their own amusement or to pass along to family and close friends have recordings that remind me of home movies. The videos my 13-year-old daughter and her friends create are adorable and funny. These girls have some moves!Drawbacks to Musical.ly
Musers can also publish videos and put them out there for people to like and comment on. The videos can be shared on other social networks for people to see, like, comment on, and share. This is where the downside to the app comes in for me.
During the tween and teen years, kids are constantly seeking approval in the form of numbers of friends, followers, likes and comments on what they share on social channels. Negativity and criticism can be hard to take for adults, and it can be even worse for kids and can become very ugly between them.
Some of the videos my daughter showed me were cute and other ones were weird. Some felt inappropriate, like the one of a young teen girl lip syncing Taylor Swift's "Love Story" close up to the camera.
Another video featured a teen boy lip syncing and making hand motions to Justin Beiber's tune "Love Yourself." As I watched, I could see that these videos were fun and I hoped viewers supported the creators. But I fear that sometimes these movies also open up kids to ridicule. Let's face it; kids aren't always kind.
I worry about a child being teased. I worry about child predators coming across this stuff and befriending an unsuspecting kid who is craving attention. Isn't that my job as a mother? To worry?Musical.ly With Rules?
I insist that my kids keep the videos they make for their own use and not post them. It allows them to enjoy the app while keeping control of their content. They get to have fun making videos, and gives us time to see how the app unfolds.
But can I repeat that I am glad social media was not around when I was a teen in the 80's? The photo evidence is bad enough.
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