Hooked App Review: Why Parents Should Worry
Hooked App Review
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Millions of kids are on it, and chances are, your child is using it too. The Hooked app has, for lack of a better term, hooked this generation of youngsters on to it.
You may have not heard about it, but Hooked has been one of the hottest apps targeting the younger generations. But is Hooked App safe for kids? Let's find out.
What Is the Hooked App?
Hooked is essentially a reading app that allows its users to read stories in the text message format. The app has both a free version which allows users to read a number of hoots (texts in a story) every 30 to 40 minutes. The paid version lets users read unlimited stories.
So instead of flipping pages, users get to scroll down and read stories in texts. The intention of the app was to engage the younger generation and get them into reading fiction. While the intention of creating the app was good, it has eventually become a cesspool of stories that are not appropriate for young minds. In this Hooked app review, we will help you understand why you should be concerned about your kid using this app.
Why Hooked App Is So Popular?
The app has been around since 2015, and over the past 4 years, has gained traction amongst the youth. Hooked has a rating of 9+ years of age, which means it's supposedly safe for kids as well. That is, however, not the case, and we will discuss it in detail shortly.
As millennials and generation-z are the mobile generations, texting is a part of their lifestyle. With an app like Hooked, they get to read stories encompassing a wide range of genres in the same way they would read and scroll through a text.
The list of genres and stories on Hooked are endless. From sci-fi to romance, comedy to horror, and erotic to dark, all types of stories can be found on Hooked. In addition to that, Hooked is also venturing into on-demand content called Hooked Originals.
Why Hooked App Is Not Safe for Kids
Now that you have familiarized yourself with the Hooked app, it's time to discuss the potential dangers it possesses:
- Adult Content: Hooked is filled to the brim with sex stories, especially related to gay and lesbian themes. Your kids can even use the search tool to search for sex, porn, and other sex-related stories. The level of erotica that exists on Hooked and goes unnoticed is unparalleled. You might think your kid is reading so that's a good thing but think again.
- Foul Language: For an app that is apparently rated for kids 9 years old and above, it sure does little to make sure it moderates the content. Crude language and profanity-filled language make up a significant portion of stories on Hooked. There is a good chance that your kid is learning foul language now through Hooked.
- Violence and Drug Use: Stories that glorify violence and drug use can have a lasting impact on your children. Hooked has no shortage of stories about drug use, gun violence, and the like. This app can desensitize your child from violence and drug use, which they may eventually build an affinity for.
- Addiction: One of the major concerns parents have today is that their children are getting addicted to their mobile phones. Apps like Hooked don't make your job as a parent any easier. Your kid might be skipping classes and their education might suffer due to spending too much time on these types of apps.
If these reasons aren't enough to get you concerned, this part picks up 4 real reviews from Common Sense Media which parents who have experienced the app firsthand:
Horrible!! Just Terrible
It Promotes Inappropriate items, such as violence and Sex. It also makes you pay or wait all day to watch another part of a story.
I subscribed to them on Snapchat because at first, I thought the stories would be interesting and such. But after a while, they were just the same over and over again. For example, every single time it's about a murder that's really predicting. But the one today got way out of hand. They brought political controversy into it. They made it like it was bad to hunt and guns are bad and stuff. They tried to say animals' lives are more important than our own. Anyway, besides this example, most are highly inappropriate for young readers. They talk about things involving sex, drugs, and much more. I think it is better to stay away from this site as much as possible. Thank you!
Lack of cultural awareness
I was reading the app when I come to find words that were utterly disappointing. The phrase said, "I always knew you had a dark-skin fetish." What does that even mean? To me, that implies that darker skin is less than lighter skin. It also leads me to believe that no one screens these stories before they are published. Clearly, there is a lack of cultural awareness and I am disgusted. Who knows what else you will find in these Stories?
Hooked Website WATCH OUT
My son downloaded this app and we are now being billed $4 USD a week. When I go into Apple ID (like all the chats tell you) they don't allow you to unsubscribe. They have Terms that go in circles and they don't allow you to cancel the subscription if it's within a 24 hour period. SO if you've finally noticed this mistake and you're about to auto-renew, you WILL be billed again. Now to get even better, the app doesn't allow you to log in, just create a new account, which he did, so I'm actually getting billed TWICE. I disconnected my cc # on my account but they're still billing my card. WTF.
WATCH OUT FOR THIS APP!
As you can tell by the reviews, the consensus here is that Hooked is not appropriate for kids, nor is it friendly on the wallet.
What Age is the App Hooked for?
As mentioned earlier in this Hooked app review, the app's rating is 9 years and above. However, judging by the stories and the nature of the content that circulates on the app. It should have a rating of at least 15 years and older.
Even then, the app should be used cautiously. Because of the addictive nature of the app, kids may end up spending your hard-earned money just to finish a story.
What Can Parents Do to Protect Kids from Hooked?
Now that you know the potential dangers of using an app like Hooked, here is how you can protect your kids from the app:
1) Encourage Book Reading
Reading a book can help your child eradicate the habit of spending countless hours on their mobile devices. Also, it gives you room to review the book yourself before handing it out to your kid. This allows you to ensure that you are giving your child a safe and enjoyable book to read that helps them develop.
2) Keep Them Busy
Your kid may have a lot of free time on their hand, which is why they downloaded the app in the first place and eventually got addicted to it. This is a tender age that can have a long-lasting impact on the growth and wellbeing of your child. Keep them busy with activities they can do around the home and plan outdoor hangouts to make sure they really connect with the family and friends.
3) Set Up a Parental Control App
FamiSafe is an excellent parental control app that comes in both Android and iOS platforms. It allows you to basically keep tabs on what your kids are doing on their mobile devices. FamiSafe lets you block apps that you may find inappropriate for your children such as Hooked. If you don't wish to block the app, you can easily monitor how much time they are spending on it.
With the Activity Report feature, you get daily updates on the app activity and the total time your kids spend on their mobile phones. With the help of screen time and smart schedule, you can make sure your kid is only spending a certain period of time every day on their phone and not more.
In case your teen decides to download the app or look it up on the internet, you can use the web filter feature and insert keywords to get triggers every time they use a term you don't want them to. With browser history data, you can track which websites your kids are browsing and block those you find inappropriate.
That concludes our Hooked app review. Before you move on, remember that an app doesn't have to be flashy for it to be dangerous and addictive. An app that looks as simple as Hooked may have a lot going on that you may not be aware of. With FamiSafe, you can maintain control over what your kid should see and what they shouldn't at their age.