App helps parents detect online bullying, suicidal thoughts

Anne Brock # State

ALCOA, Tenn. (WVLT) - An app called Bark offers technology to help parents track troubling messages their children may be sending or receiving online. The app aims to help by alerting parents to messages about violence, danger, suicidal thoughts, depression and more.

Parents and other caregivers said they might find the app useful. They also admitted that they are not able to keep up with everything children are doing online.

"I always worry about with the middle school, the drama, the back and forth and the catiness of it and the fights. And then I worry that once they start a fight other kids gang up on social media, so that's my big fear there,"
said mother of two Nichole Cagley. She said she tries to monitor everything her son and daughter to online, but she doesn't have to time to keep up.

She said she would potentially see a use in the app if it helped her detect dangers early in conversations between her children and their online friends.

"I would love that, if it could pick up on a trigger, just to let you know if you're missing something that you think you've checked but you're not, that goes unnoticed. I would love something like that."