Family Using Laptop At Home

Family Using Laptop At Home

The music streaming service of Spotify has captured many an imagination. Requiring users to set up their account on the site using either their Gmail id or their Facebook accounts, Spotify offers free, unlimited and premium plans, and is a great source of music for music-lovers. What’s more, it’s quite the rage with the youngsters as well, who seem to spend plenty of their online time on this app. In fact, I’m yet to meet a teenager who hasn’t downloaded Spotify! While one would say that music is always better than watching videos with explicit content, chatting or messaging, Spotify isn’t all-good as it seems. While parents need not worry too much about this app, there are some things that are still a cause of concern:

 

Access to explicit content

Unlike what many parents are led to believe, kids on Spotify access explicit content all the time. This may not be because they’re out there looking for such content, but because it comes up when they are searching for something else. Kids are thus at the risk of accessing inappropriate content as song selections cannot be filtered for language or the kind of content they have. In fact, violent cover images on album covers or age-inappropriate language in songs can have an impact on impressionable young minds. And yes, along with access to music, there’s also the free streaming of ads. Also parents are unable to block such content on the site.

 

Age limit

Though the site specifically states that users should be at least 13 years of age or older and require parental consent; this doesn’t happen all the time. It is as easy to get on to Spotify as it is to start a Facebook or Gmail account.

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Distraction

Children have a wide range of music to choose from via this app. Not only that, they also have the choice to follow friends, create and share playlists, and also put together favourite songs. With so many options, and an active community on board this app, it surely takes up plenty of time and can get really addictive. In fact, many kids are so caught up with the app that it eats into their study time.

 

Dicey privacy policy

Another point that needs mention is the privacy policy of Spotify that struck controversy last year. As per this policy, users could have access to information on devices using this app. However, this was later revised to accessing only the music users listen to on their devices. While the revision in the policy does make it safer, it can change in the future and give strangers access to your child’s musical likes and dislikes. And while this may seem safe at the outset, it also opens up other problem areas when kids begin to communicate with strangers, thinking them to be their online friends, not to mention directed marketing.

 

While the app is a good choice, offering free access to music, it has its negative side as well. Parents thus need to be aware of the content their child is accessing via the app. Parents also need to set time limits on usage, so that it doesn’t distract children from studies.

 

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