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We’ve been talking for weeks now about how much more children are on their devices and there is no doubt that devices are needed at this time of the global coronavirus pandemic…

HOWEVER, we need to make sure that we keep conversations and regular check ins going with what our children are up to on social media.

One of the things I am seeing more of is children (and adults) joining in the SHOUTOUT for SHOUTOUT idea.

You might see your child offering a shoutout using a post that looks something like “SFS 1.5K GAINS WW” 

Or you might see your child post “shoutout to…” or “go follow @blahblah…”

What is happening here is a mutual exchange of followers.

The aim is obvious. 

Both participants want more followers on their social media account.

Another trend is the aim to have at least one person in every country on their Snapmap.

For this they will be more targeted with who they swap shoutouts with. 

They might look for someone who is specifically offering “gains” from a country they need.

Alternatively, your child’s aim might be to get as many people from your state.  Overloading their Snapmap in Brisbane with Bitmojis.

To participate in this they usually have their locations turned on for Snapmaps and right now if they are showing their location – they are showing everyone WHERE YOU LIVE! 

#isolation #stayhome #lockdown #quarantine

The people who participate in shoutouts are young, middle aged and old.

Do you want your child having strange adults from all around the world, or worse… the next suburb being able to see all of their stories and to know where you live?

If your child is doing shoutouts, someone is most likely doing shoutouts for them.

Very quickly your child is going to have a tonne of followers that they most likely don’t know.

I saw a public shoutout to a young Brisbane lass last week on Snapchat.

Her username was part of her real name.

When I clicked on her username her surname was in her profile.

From her return “shoutout” (which was publicly available) for the chap whose shoutout I originally saw, I could see where her home was.  A little cul-de-sac in north Brisbane.

A quick search of her name on Facebook and I now knew where she worked, her recent ex-partner’s name, her birthday and many other pieces of information that could be used to exploit her. 

This lady was an adult….

But children are doing this also.

The risks are obvious and although we probably aren’t seeing the fallout of the overuse of devices and the lowering of our safety precautions during this time, I firmly believe that the real cost of public posting, shoutouts and social media assisting boredom will probably unfold in worrying ways over the coming months as Australia starts to slowly lift restrictions.


Talk to the kids about what’s safe to post and what’s not.

Check their accounts and ask questions.

Push.  If something strikes you as strange, ask more questions or send me a message.

…and please turn off locations.