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Jott Messenger is an app that allows users to send individual and group messages without a WiFi connection or a data plan. On the app’s website, it describes itself as a place “where your squad hangs out…Things are better with your squad. Share moments by posting pictures and videos to your story or send them privately to friends and group chats.”

It offers profiles where users are encouraged to “express yourself (themselves), add interests, favorites, or whatever to your profile. Jott is where you can be yourself”

and “browse profiles of friends and classmates. Check out their latest pictures and videos or see what they added in their interests. Tap the heart icon to heart their content.”

Jott also lets users know they can “avoid that awkward moment of asking for phone numbers” and just “join your squad at your school and swipe right to chat with friends.”            

According to The Pew Research Center, about 88 percent of 13-17 year-olds have a cell or smartphone, but not all of them get a data plan allowing internet access. Because of this, Jott has become increasingly popular among younger teens who can use their Ipods or Ipads to message friends as long as they are within a 100-foot radius of each other. So those preteens without a data plan don’t have to be left out of the nonstop messaging with their peers during the school day.

The app allows users to link their profile with other social networks, to share photos, videos and any other information kids post online.

What parents should know:

  • Cyber Safety Consulting warns that the names of kids using Jott are shared with other users, strangers as well as adult strangers
  • There is no way to prove that a user actually goes to a particular school, so any user can add a school and see profile information of students that go to that school
  • There is an age gate, but actual age isn’t verified, and user content isn’t monitored

If you are a parent who checks your son or daughter’s text messages and he or she uses Jott, you may be missing out on quite a few conversations, pictures, and/or videos.

If you are a parent who is trying to minimize distractions at school by not having a data plan on your child’s phone, you may not be achieving your goal.

Messaging is the number one choice of communication among preteens and teens. On average, girls send about 3,952 text messages a month and boys send closer to 2,815 text messages a month, according to the Pew research.

The app’s creators, Juxta Labs, interviewed 350 junior high and high school students and found that teens send 50% of their text messages during school hours. So for those kids without a data plan, they too can send 50% of messages during school hours.

With tons of new apps being released every month, it is crucial for parents to keep tabs on which ones their kids are using and to be aware of how they are using them. As always, monitoring is the only way to ensure that your child is using their technology in ways that you approve.

Parenting in today’s digital age can feel overwhelming which is why using a parenting tool like Social Judo is smart. It minimizes a parents workload, provides real-time information, and will decrease parental anxiety about what your child is doing in cyberspace.