What Is It:
Lipsi is a relatively new social media app that lets users anonymously start conversations with other app users nearby, and it’s gaining serious traction among young people. Some 75% of Lipsi’s users are female, according to Matthew Segal, who launched the app in 2014 while he was a student at Yale. Segal declined to disclose the app’s total daily users, but said there are 50,000 to 60,000 new members joining Lipsi daily.
While Lipsi requires users to be 18 and up, like other apps, all it takes is a simple click of a box to get in. Once you’re signed in, the app will let you search other users within a 100-yard radius by name, then start a conversation with them anonymously. Others can do the same to you. Lipsi is marketed to “the young and the bold” that’s meant to connect to your Instagram account so your “friends” can provide you with anonymous feedback.
What Parents Need to Know:
Instagram users can include a link to their Lipsi account in their Instagram profile, allowing other kids to leave anonymous feedback and comments, just like the disastrous marriage of Saraha and Snapchat in 2017. If your child has Instagram, look for Lipsi in their profile. Not only is Lipsi anonymous, but users can quickly and easily erase all chat history.
Anonymous messages that can be erased almost instantly is never a good combination for young users that are not mature enough for the consequences. It is recipe for disaster ending in cases of cyber bullying, creepy/mean/hateful comments, and perverted behaviors.
Project B3’s Tips and Suggestions:
- Discuss the possible issues and real dangers that are involved with anonymous messaging with your tween or teen.
- Ask your child if they are using the Lipsi app and discuss whether or not it is the best choice for them. (Remember, it is also linked to their Insta accounts)
- Discuss with your child how what they say and do online directly affects real people. Don’t always assume your child is the victim in a cyberbullying scenario.
- Remind your child to never, ever meet with a person they have met online. They never know who they are actually communicating with or who they will actually meet in person.