How does Wing work?

Navigating their way through school and friendships can be a challenging time for children and teens, even more so when you factor in social media, messaging apps, online behaviours and what feels to many like an ‘always online’ culture.

Research shows that around 10% of girls aged 11-15 years have an emotional disorder, such as depression or anxiety, as do around 13% of boys of the same age. Whilst there is no direct link between social media and mental health issues in children and young people, a 2017 study showed that the way social media is used can have a significant impact on the mood and self-perceptions of young people. With issues such as self-harm and depression in children and teens on the rise, parents are now faced with the challenge of how to protect their children’s wellbeing without isolating them from their peers.

How many children are bullied each year?

Bullying affects over a million young people in the UK every year and can happen in many forms. If you’re being bullied online or via social media, it can feel impossible to escape and, for some people, this can lead to both mental and physical problems.

Understandably, the importance of both offline and online safety for parents is a big concern.

Young people have a right to a level of privacy and don’t want to feel like they are being ‘spied on’ by their parents, which is why we developed Wing.

Wing’s founder is a parent who was worried about his child being bullied at school and online. The only solutions that he could find seemed to focus on tracking his child or giving all of the control to the parent or authority figure, which didn’t fit with the way he wanted his child to experience the online world.

Wing – powered by AI

Wing is a smartphone app designed to use our Artificial Intelligence (AI) engine to help monitor the wellbeing and mood of your child or teen in a non-intrusive way that doesn’t invade their privacy.

Wing can do this because the AI engine can analyse your child's language through texts, imagery and social media interactions. Wing knows whether these are positive or negative interactions and can give parents a regular report on their child’s online emotional world, without them feeling ‘spied on’ in the process. This takes the form of an island scene and weather conditions. If the weather is good and the sea calm, this indicates that Wing has assessed your child to be content and the sentiment of their online interactions are mainly positive. If the weather is stormy or rainy, this can indicate that you might want to have a conversation with your child about the things that are going on in their life.

Parents will be alerted if a serious incident or threat is detected by Wing, and the app can also offer tips and online safety information for parents, designed to help them talk to their child about what is going on in their life that could be affecting their wellbeing.

An alternative to closely monitoring children’s social media usage

It can be very tempting for parents who are worried about their children being online to try to strictly monitor or track their kids’ social media and other online activity very closely. As the children get older, they often push back against this and it can feel smothering to them.

Due to the unique way that this app works, Wing offers something of a net of social media safety for young people, as well as offering a level of peace of mind for their parents too. Because it isn’t intrusive and doesn’t relay specific messages, emails or other online activity to parents - unless it detects a serious threat, Wing isn’t seen as a snooping or spying app by children or young people. Instead, they know that if something worrying happens via their online activity, they are offered the opportunity to talk to their parents about it. Wing offers a great way to spark a conversation between a parent and a young person about the things that are going in their lives.