Parents often have a hard time connecting with teens. Now, there’s an app for that. The Love Is Not Abuse app aims to let parents know just how tough it is to be a teen in an abusive relationship. Surprisingly, many teens today are caught in relationships that have them feeling trapped, cornered, and scared. Thanks to social networks, the Internet, and messenger services, being a teen in a relationship is harder than it has ever been before.
This app (available for iPhone) will make seeing life from the broken heart of a teen easier for any parent wondering why their teen is so down. The app simulates an abusive relationship by sending parents texts and voicemails from an imaginary abusive boyfriend or girlfriend. The conversations held are real, though the relationship is fake. Many are praising this app for its innovation, but some believe that the Love Is Not Abuse app goes too far.
What the App Does
The Love Is Not Abuse app was created by Liz Claiborne, Inc. The company made the app as part of the larger Love Is Not Abuse campaign. This campaign is designed at showcasing “digital dating abuse.” When a parent signs up for the Love Is Not Abuse app, texts, voicemails, and phone calls are made throughout the day and night for a twenty-four hour period.
The pretend boyfriend or girlfriend on the other side of the app will also threaten to post photos of a teen on Facebook, delete friends, and create general social havoc. These tactics are all too familiar to a teen who’s currently suffering through an abusive relationship. While the app doesn’t actually mess with a parent’s social networks, it is a good way to show parents just how serious digital dating abuse can be.
Why It’s Controversial
Even though the Love Is Not Abuse app seems like a great way for parents to see the signs of abuse, some people find that this app isn’t helpful. In fact, the app has been criticized for being too generalized and too lighthearted. Some people also feel that this app isn’t overly realistic. While some of the reasons that this app is being criticized may be sound, the app seems to be a great way for parents to understand digital abuse.
Learning to recognize the signs of abuse is half the battle when it comes to protecting teens. If a parent can gain this information from a simple iPhone app, Liz Claiborne has done its job. The company has also stated that many hours were spent perfecting this app. The texts, voicemails and phone calls sent to users are meant to be realistic.
If the Love Is Not Abuse iPhone app seems like a good idea to you, you can download this app from the Apple App Store for free. At the time of this writing, the app is not available for Android or BlackBerry. However, you can find additional information about the Love Is Not Abuse campaign on the Liz Claiborne website.