Digital media is now a mundane part of our lives and our children's lives. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, are all part of a completely personalized social media experience. In the digital landscape however, if there is any certainty, it is change. With the proliferation of devices that include cameras in their architecture -- smartphones, tablets, even the upcoming Google Glass -- it was only a matter of time before social media evolved from the use of such archaic means of communication as text, to the immediate, more entertaining and more communicative format of personalized videos. Of course, Youtube first popularized videos, but for the most part it has not streamlined in a manner consistent with social media. Why take the time to say in a paragraph that takes five minutes to write, what you feel, when you can utilize the full nuance of human expression to say exactly what you feel exactly when you feel it?
This is the concept behind Keek which aspires to be the twitter of video social media. Rather than a text message format such as Twitter or a picture-based message board like Facebook, Keek offers users the ability to record and post microvideos up to 36 seconds in length at any time and from anywhere that is internet connected. Just as with other social media services, you can subscribe to other users, post video updates and even respond to other users either via text or via video responses otherwise known as “Keekbacks”. Keek also offers hash tagging similar to Twitters format which the site calls “Klusters”. Just as with Twitter, Klusters allow Keekers to find Keeks and other Keekers which apply to their interests.
Signing up for Keek is free, just go to their website, create a username and password, confirm your account and you are ready to become director, producer, and star of your own micro-movie collection. Once logged into the system you have only to push the green button in your browser or on your mobile device to begin the show.
For parents, Keek will be an inevitability. Social media is all about communication with the world and Keek offers the closest experience to face-to-face communication in social media today. And while undoubtedly the same ills that plague other social media sites (such as bullying and the sharing of inappropriate content) will follow over to Keek, the site can also be a powerful tool for parents to somewhat monitor the environments their children are going into. After all, if your child is a habitual Keeker and all of a sudden you check a video feed that has gone dry for several hours, it may be a clue that whatever is going on, the child doesn't want you to see it.
Likewise it can be used cleverly by parents as a tool of honesty. To a child who is already Keeking, a request of “Keek when you get to Billy’s” can ensure that the child arrived safely at their destination and is where they are supposed to be, all while using a format they would be interested in using anyway. While on vacation, school trips, or otherwise away from home, a private Keek message of a happy healthy teenager with the body language of a happy healthy teenager could do more to assuage a parent's worries than any phone call or text message.
Ultimately Keek and services like it are the wave of the future so it's important that parents start riding that wave and using these services now so that they aren't drowning in ignorance when it comes to their children's life in social media. But like any other social media, parents shouldn't blindly let their child use this new video-sharing app without rules and a talk on responsibility online.
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