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Twitter is a microblogging tool that allows users to post brief, 140-character messages — called "tweets" — and follow other users' activities.

It's not only for adults; teens like using it to share tidbits and keep up with news and celebrities.

It also lets you apply fun filters and effects to your photos, making them look high-quality and artistic.

– Your Video Social Network is a performance- and video-sharing social network that mostly features teens lip-synching to famous songs but also includes some original songwriting and singing.

Users create and follow short blogs, or "tumblogs," that can be seen by anyone online (if they're made public).

Many teens have tumblogs for personal use: sharing photos, videos, musings, and things they find funny with their friends.

Instagram lets users snap, edit, and share photos and 15-second videos, either publicly or within a private network of followers.

With all the emotions running through teens, anonymous outlets give them the freedom to share their feelings without fear of judgment. If you remember Chatroulette, where users could be randomly matched with strangers for a video chat, this is the modern version. Although not marketed as a dating app, Meet Me does have a "Match" feature whereby users can "secretly admire" others, and its large user base means fast-paced communication and guaranteed attention.

Gone are the days of Facebook as a one-stop shop for all social-networking needs.

While it may seem more complicated to post photos on Instagram, share casual moments on Snapchat, text on Whats App, and check your Twitter feed throughout the day, tweens and teens love the variety.

You don't need to know the ins and outs of all the apps, sites, and terms that are "hot" right now (and frankly, if you did, they wouldn't be trendy anymore).

But knowing the basics — what they are, why they're popular, and what problems can crop up when they're not used responsibly — can make the difference between a positive and a negative experience for your kid.

So take inventory of your kids' apps and review the best practices.

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