Wickr is a relatively new app currently available for the iPhone but soon to be released for Android use. The makers of this app argue that our electronic communications should not be catalogued and stored forever on some distant, untraceable server.
The Wickr App is free and states that it provides, ‘military-grade encryption of text, picture, audio and video messages as well as sender-based control over who can read messages, where and for how long.’
It allows you to send messages set to disappear within six days, unless you want them to self-destruct even earlier. You can also set individual messages to autodestruct within a set period of time after the recipient opens them.
This sort of App provides you with a teachable moment. There are probably many positive uses that this App will be put to and good reasons to use it but I can also think of one or two other, not so nice ways. Better to use this as an opportunity to discuss a Social Media Code of Ethics that teens should adhere to regardless of how they send their messages and pictures and how long they remain available. Holidays are a good time to have these conversations.