Our Complete Guide to Snapchat
What are the key features of 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 strive to keep snap chats going with friends and must respond within 24 hours to keep the streak alive. Those with the longest and the highest number of snapstreaks gain social standing. While fun, this can create a lot of pressure.
Friends can share their location and track each other in real time on a map view.
News, celebrity activity, and friend’s update plus a whole lot of inappropriate content.
Special mementos that celebrate your friendships!
Just tap to play. It’s about having fun! ?
In an extensive study, Snapchat users report being happy when spending up to 20 minutes per day on the app, and then shift into unhappy territory when they continue using beyond that point.
Because of its mature content and it’s original incarnation as a sexting app, Common Sense Media recommended age is 16+.
What Parents Should Know
The Discover feature is easily accessed and is where users have to go to see Friends’ stories. Discover also functions as an advertising section where magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Vice, Esquire and Oddly Satisfying post adult content and pay Snapchat to feature them. Users can select which publications they want to see, but they will still see some they do not subscribe to. Unfortunately, the Discover feature cannot be removed. Most concerning is that Snapchat’s Discover shows the same content to a 13-year-old as to a 25-year-old. We tested.
In Snapchat, the default settings allow strangers to contact your teen and, your teen will be invited to add people as friends who he or she doesn’t know. You must act to change the settings.
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 even when they don’t want to join the group. More than on any other platform, teens are cajoled to share inappropriate photos. While Snapchat has become more mainstream, it was originally founded in 2011 to facilitate sexting.
The ‘impermanent nature’ of Snapchat 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. Transmitting inappropriate photos could constitute a felony. While snaps can disappear almost immediately, they are actually stored on Snapchat’s server for 30 days before they’re deleted, and anyone can take a screenshot.
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: