WASHINGTON (Observer-Reporter Newsroom) – “’I downloaded the app because I thought it was a place to work on photos, but when I started looking around I realized it had blogs and places where people socialized,’ Klingensmith said. ‘When I began reading, I came across postings by some young people, they were sharing things that they should have been talking to their parents about, it seemed to me, or asking for professional help. It troubled me and I deleted the app but couldn’t help thinking about it.’”

First, a little information about my background: I’ve been working with teens and tweens since the early ‘90s. I first started my career working direct care at an inpatient psychiatric hospital. There, I learned much about a wide range of mental illness and the resulting behaviors. I then worked in residential settings treating teens struggling with mental health, trauma and behavioral concerns. Within these facilities, there was very limited access to the internet and cell phones were not permitted. Even in their home and community, their access was limited. IM messaging was used on computers and texting on flip phones, but very few people were accessing the World Wide Web.