Are your kids Snapchatting?

Have you heard about the fun new app Snapchat? Your kids have and chances are they are using it. I must say there is great appeal in the silliness of it. Though most of my adult friends aren’t using it (perhaps they are more mature than I). If you are an adult and want to join me on Snapchat my handle is Oophology. But alas, this isn’t about me. It’s about the ones who are eating us out of house and home and making fun of us in private chats on Facebook.

There are also, of course, ways your teens and tweens can get into big trouble using Snapchat.

What you should know. Snapchat is a photo app similar to Instagram. They key difference? The photos are timed. Let me explain. I take a photo of me sipping wine and I send it to you. BUT, before I send the photo I choose the amount of time the recipient has to view it. The longest amount of time allowed being ten seconds. Very interesting. And potentially dangerous. But that is where we parents come in. Below is a quick video showing how you receive a photo, click on it and then view it while you can. Because POOF it will be gone in seconds.

(Only those you select and send the image to can see the photo.)

I fear Snapchat gives kids a false sense of security about the privacy of what they are sending.

My Key Thoughts:

Parents can’t monitor their kids photos. This is the part that most alarms me. I like to be able to scan my son’s Instagram and Facebook photos every so often to ensure what they are posting doesn’t prohibit them from getting into a college thus moving out so I can turn their room into my office.

You can take a screenshot of your iphone screen and thus have the photo permanently. When I asked my otherwise intelligent teen son if you could do this, he responded, “Probably, but it won’t be easy.” I did it easily on the first attempt. Proving that no matter how smart our teens are, they need our help navigating this giant world of social media. Often.

Snapchat leads to the obvious: Talk again about sexting. Talk. Talk. Talk.

There is a perception that these photos go away but somewhere somehow I suspect they are sitting on a server because unlike Vegas the internet doesn’t tend to stay in the internet.

There are alarmists that will tell you this is a horrible product and kids are using it for all the wrong reasons. I am certain some kids are. But as is true with most things in life, the majority aren’t. It is our job as parents to discuss the pitfalls of these things and guide them in the right direction so they end up in the majority, not in a CNN article.

As always on Ooph, I encourage you to use this as a reason to talk with your kids. Remind them to be responsible, that you trust them to do the right thing and to have a good time! (Within reason.)

 

 

About Stefanie

Stefanie Mullen

Comments

  1. Hey Steph! I have the app on my iphone but didn’t know any grownups who use it so i haven’t even tried it yet!

  2. I am definitely hearing about misuse by young adults. We’ve had discussions about it here. I don’t like the app. Way too easy for them to be doing dumb things and there is only so much we can do to deter them.

    • I have also heard of a couple, but for the most part they are getting it right. All we can do is talk to them. Then? CROSS. OUR. FINGERS.

  3. Snapchat hasn’t infiltrated this high North just yet. I keep checking all the teens phones, no one has the app just yet. But it’s a coming… I can feel it.

  4. Girl. I swear, you are my parenting guru.

    Thank you for doing all this work so that I don’t have to!

    • It’s shoved down my throat. I would much rather be sipping a a pretty pink drink poolside in Hawaii, but alas, I have teens. So, you’re welcome.

  5. Maybe cell phones will be a thing of the past once my kids are old enough to have one? No? Crap. Also, nice music that rhymes with corn.

  6. We have two kids in our district currently in trouble due to sexting on snapchat. I am not sure how they got caught but it was pretty bad I have heard!

  7. The idea of this is terrifying! You’re spot on about the screen shots. My kids aren’t old enough yet, but the message I’ll try to convey is that anything you send via phone or internet is permanent.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] "Parents can’t monitor their kids photos. This is the part that most alarms me. I like to be able to scan my son’s Instagram and Facebook photos every so often to ensure what they are posting doesn’t prohibit them from getting into a college thus moving out so I can turn their room into my office." – Stefanie on Ooph.com "Are your kids Snapchatting?" [...]

  2. […] one concerns me because there is no way to monitor it. If you aren’t familiar with it, here is a complete breakdown. The short story is you take a photo, click on the people you want to send the photo to, decide how […]

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