Social media trends becoming a serious concern for local parents

Hampden County

The Hampden County District Attorney’s Office held a social media safety event at Agawam Junior High School Thursday night.

From online bullying to the recent social media hoax known as the “Momo Challenge,” the DA’s Office said there are rising concerns for kids online.

Kids are constantly connected to the internet, and for parents, it can be pretty hard to keep up with the different apps they’re downloading and accounts they’re creating.

“Much as I use technology today, I admit, maybe it’s my age, I’m not as in to the social media, so I really wanna get a few pointers, and learn a little bit about what my son is dealing with,” Karrie Stepanik, a local parent, said. “I think if you stay in tune, you can pick up a lot.”

Parents and students took part in the DA’s social media safety forum. They were walked through 16 social media apps they should be aware of. Warning parents about sexting done through Snapchat, and anonymous messaging apps like Kik.

Making sure your kid has all of their accounts set to private, so only people they know can see most of their page, and turning off location sharing on Snapchat can help make some of your kid’s apps a little safer.

Parents were walked through the ‘Momo Challenge,” which attempts to get kids to carry out dangerous, sometimes life-threatening, objectives. One mother said after it spread on social media, even elementary school students were hearing about it. 

“We had big talks about it. We sat down at the computer and showed her what it was, and she got to read all of the articles that came from school about it so that she would be aware,” Karen Crevier-Estes told 22News. “I think it’s just sitting down and making sure you know what’s going on with them.”

If you’re worried about the “Momo Challenge,” the DA’s office said kids are often seeing it on WhatsApp. 

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