Apps to help you help troubled young people – No. 4… ZIPIT

Who would send an inappropriate picture of themselves to a journalist?

Well, it happens – a British member of parliament did it just recently!

Photo courtesy of ©123RF/loganban

Photo courtesy of ©123RF/loganban

I’ve written before about the dangers and pressures young people can encounter online. The pressure to send indecent selfies is one.

How can we help young people resist this pressure?…

The childish notion of “show me yours and I’ll show you mine” has been around as long as people have.

But in the modern age, where kids are growing up digital, it has whole set of new possibilities. Recent news archives illustrate the chilling reality that what starts out as a light-hearted thing, can end in tragedy. Bullying can kill.

Yet today young people carry in their pocket the power to self-publish – a mobile phone. The temptation to send a dodgy photo of themselves is greater because they have the power to do it easily, privately and instantly.

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How can we help?…

Well, we can do what all responsible adults do, teach young people how to stay safe online.

On top of this, I think that this little app could be another really helpful addition to the battle against sexting

App No.4: ZIPIT!

“Get flirty chat back on track.”

 

Zipit “Helps you get flirty chat back on the right track. It’s packed with killer comebacks and top tips to help you stay in control of your chat game.”

Image courtesy of ©Childline

Image courtesy of ©Childline

Childline, who produced the app, have provided a way for young people to answer back if/when they feel under pressure. Particularly the dodgy selfie pressure.

The principal functions of the app are:

  • Save the ZIPIT “response” images onto your device and share them with your friends
  • Share the images on Facebook, Twitter, BBM or via email
  • Find out how to deal with a sexting crisis
  • Get advice to help you flirt without failing
  • Call ChildLine or save the number to your phone

 What’s in it?…

Similarly to the Barnardo’s WudU? app we looked at recently, ZIPIT is basic but has a useful range of quick options to help young people when the pressure is on…

Image courtesy ©Childine

Image courtesy ©Childine

  • Gallery – this is the heart of the app. It provides 34 images which young people can send to those who may taking flirting a bit too far and ask for an inappropriate photo. For example there’s a picture of a pig with wings with the caption: NEVER. GONNA. HAPPEN. These can be easily opened and shared with the offending party or generally on social media.
  • Flirting guide – this gives ten simple guidelines to help young people learn and enjoy flirting safely. It’s a positive set of principles which I think give a healthy framework for young people to follow. As well as warning about knowing the person they’re “chatting” with online and ensuring the ages are appropriate, there’s advice like: Be yourself; Play nice; and Keep it to yourself (privacy in photos).

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  • Advice – this section deals with what to do if things begin to feel uncomfortable or to get out of hand. The three elements are:
    • Report – images you’re not happy about;
    • Block – people you don’t want to be in contact with anymore, and;
    • Talk – to someone about the situation.
  • Call Childline – says what it does on the tin. There is a direct dial button that takes you straight to Childline, or an option to add the Childline number to the phone’s contacts list.
  • About this app – restates the purpose of the app and what it does, as well as the usual developer details and links to terms of use and the ZIPIT website.
Above all, the app is FREE, useful for young people and is easy and fun to use – download it here.

Overall, I reckon this app adds some helpful options for young people to use if they get into tricky or pressured situations during online chat. The pictures are amusing and light, so they’ll have fun with them anyway, regardless…

Your thoughts?

  • Are you aware of any other apps that can help troubled young people to stay safe, get involved or to have their voice heard? 

Please let me know – join the conversation by leaving a comment below or by clicking here.

Other info…

Revenge Porn Factsheet – click here

Article: The I.T. Crowd – How Technology is Helping Children in Care…

Related previous posts…ZIPIT logo

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© Jonny Matthew 2014

Acknowledgement: Some material and images in this post is taken directly from the ZIPIT page of the Childline website website.

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