Our Complete Guide to Snapchat
It’s SO easy for teens to take photos and share them with friends. And Teens LOVE the filters.
Text conversations that disappear within 24 hours. Photos too.*
Teens aspire to keep their conversations going with friends and must respond within 24 hours to keep the streak alive.
Friends can share their location and track each other in real time.
News, celebrity activity, and friend’s updates .
What Parents Should Know
When we tested signing up my 13-year-old daughter, this is what we discovered: show photo of family room with Discover circled and show collage of disturbing photos in feed. The Discover feature is easily accessed and is where users have to go to see Friend’s stories. Discover also functions as an advertising section where magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Vice, Esquire add Oddly Satisfying post adult content and pay Snapchat to feature them. A user can select which publications they want to see, but they will still see some they do not subscribe to, and Discover cannot be removed. Of further concern, is that Snapchat shows what’s shown to a 13-year-old is the same as what’s shown to a 25-year-old. We tested!
In Snapchat, the default settings allow strangers to contact your kids AND your teen will be invited to add people he or she doesn’t know as Friends, unless you change the settings (LINK TO QUESTION: HOW CAN I MAKE MY CHILD”S ACCOUNT PRIVATE). ADD Screenshot with caption: My daughter knows none of these people!
Teens can feel social pressure to keep up their Snapstreaks because they don’t want to let a friend down. If they fail to respond within 24 hours, the streak disappears. Also, when groups of friends agree to share their location it can make it easier to make plans, but teens can also feel pressured to join the group. More than on any other platform, teens are coerced to share inappropriate photos. Some might say, once a sexting app, always a sexting app. Snapchat was founded in 2011 to facilitate sexting, but has become more mainstream.
The ‘impermanent nature’ is unnerving to parents. The major concern is that there’s no way to monitor a teen’s activity, and teens often don’t stop to think about the consequences. While snaps can disappear almost immediately, they are actually stored on SnapChat’s server for 30 days before they’re deleted. Also, anyone can take a screenshot and now settings can be changed to save snaps for 24 hours.
Knowledge object: camera with slash: Hover would say: A teen who takes a naked picture of him/herself and sends it to another teen, has technically committed 3 felony crimes. Hyperlink hover statement: http://mobilemediaguard.com/state_main.html
How do I monitor my teen on Snapchat?
No one wants another full-time job, but parents are well-advised to monitor their kids’ social media accounts. The extent to which you do this is totally personal preference and based on your own parenting philosophy. It’s particularly challenging in Snapchat because of the disappearing history. Here’s the best you can do:
How do I make sure my teen’s account is private?
By default, only ‘Friends’ your teen has added can make direct contact and view his or her Snapstories.
To confirm privacy settings:
What Should I do if my child is being bullied or harassed?
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, prohibits social media sites from collecting personal data from children under 13 without parental consent. Instead of fulfilling the onerous requirements to obtain parental consent, social media companies elected to set 13 as the minimum age to use their platforms.
While it’s not illegal for children under 13 to use social media, there are the privacy and appropriate use concerns to consider. According to child psychologists, children under 13 are typically not developmentally ready to handle the complexities that arise with social media from posting etiquette and oversharing, to analyzing truth and validity.
A child’s readiness depends on his or her level of maturity and how prepared he or she is to handle the responsibility. Parents are well-advised to educate themselves and their children on the potential issues and be prepared to regularly engage with their children to discuss social media use.