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Social media has evolved to provide many intriguing features. One great platform that offers these features and more is Snapchat. Therefore, you’re not the only parent worried about their teen’s activities on Snapchat and who desires to monitor it. Should parents join Snapchat to keep an eye on their children? Let’s find out!
What is Snapchat?
Snapchat is a trending social media platform with features that allow users to exchange pictures and videos known as snaps, which are meant to disappear after 24 hours. Other features include games, news, entertainment, quizzes, and shows.
Additionally, one main advanced quality of this app is allowing you to beautify your pictures and videos by adding filters, lenses, and other advanced photo editing effects.
Moreover, it’s easy to sign up using your name and email address, and you’re good to go.
Is Snapchat Safe For Kids
Snapchat, just like every other platform, has its benefits and downsides. Therefore, we can say it isn’t all that safe for teens since they can get exposed to many inappropriate contents.
According to Snapchat terms of service, the minimum age required to use the app is 13 years. But, at that age, kids are most vulnerable and still need proper guidance on how to go about social media activities.
Since it isn’t all safe, should parents join Snapchat? There are thousands of ways to keep an eye on your child due to the many downsides of the app.
What Are the Downsides of Snapchat?
1. The Myth of Disappearing Messages
Snapchat has made teens feel secure engaging in all sorts of inappropriate activities, from sexting to sharing Intimate videos and pictures. This is a result of its features that allow messages to disappear once they are viewed, hence teens are deceived into believing they won’t get caught since their messages will self-destruct.
However, it isn’t all true since the receiver of the messages can take screenshots of them, further share them with others, and use them as bait for cyberbullying, which can get messy.
2. Exposure to Bad Influence
Users are allowed to add as many friends as possible by uploading their contact, searching for friends, or simply turning on their notifications. In other words, they get to become friends with all sorts of people who may gain a negative impact on their lives through frequent communication. Also, they become vulnerable to scandal and cyberbullying.
3. Snap Map and Snapstreak Madness
Snap map allows others to access your location, which doesn’t sit right with most parents as this allows strangers to access their kids.
While snap streak, on the other hand, can gradually become addictive as teens might get lost in the fun of sharing photos with their friends for a long time to get a flame emoji and number.
4. Discover Features
This Snapchat feature allows users to connect with pop culture to keep up with trending celebrities, entertainment, and news. Although this varies, not all pop cultures are appropriate for teens. Oftentimes, kids get the wrong idea about certain issues like sex education, drug abuse, and more.
5. No Age Verification
While Snapchat terms of service say age 13 as a minimum, there isn’t any verification to confirm if that’s the exact age of the user. This makes it even more threatening as kids can lie about their age just to join the platform to have fun.
6. Questionable Privacy and Safety
Snapchat isn’t secured hence, user information and details can be shared with a third party. This isn’t proper as these third parties can choose what to do with your details. This implies that your privacy isn’t in good hands.
The safety bubble that chats and media disappear after 24 hours has burst since hackers and other third-party applications have a way of restoring old chats and media shared.
7. Risk of Addiction
The entire fun process can gradually become addictive as kids come under pressure to feel among and compete with their peers. This isn’t a good stand for teens as it can affect their self-esteem and emotional well-being.
Perhaps, you notice your teen looking stressed about the whole Snapchat thing; it’s time you step in as a parent before things get out of hand.
Should Parents Join Snapchat?
It’s your responsibility as a parent to ensure your kids are making the right decision, especially in their teenage years. This includes the hours spent on the screen and their safety on social media.
Unfortunately, there is no way for you to see their activities like other social media platforms.
Should parents join Snapchat? Except you’re joining for the fun of it and nothing more, it isn’t a good option for monitoring your kid’s activities. Therefore, having a discussion about social media with your teens might be all you need.
How to Monitor Your Kids on Snapchat?
No matter how you trust your teen as a parent, you still want to know about their activities on social media. However, fulfilling your parenting duty calls for a chat about Snapchat and social media in general before you allow your kids to join. This includes outlining the dangers, limits, and why this decision is best.
Similarly, making some important settings on the app saves you lots of stress.
1. Make It Impossible For Strangers To Contact Your Child
- Open the Settings menu (marked with the gear icon).
- Select My Friends instead of Everyone under Contact Me and View My Story.
2. Check To See If Your Child Is A “Recommendation.”
- Tap See Me in Quick Add in Settings.
- Toggle the switch to the off position.
3. Hide The Location Of Your Child
Open the Settings menu.
- Select See My Location from the drop-down menu.
- Toggle Ghost Mode on and off.
4. Keep Your Child’s Phone Number Safe
- Tap Mobile Number.
- Untoggle the Let others find me using my mobile number option.
5. Install Parenting Control App
In addition to the setting put in place, it’s advisable to get parenting control apps that help you keep an eye on all your child’s activities even while you’re away. Interestingly, you get notified whenever your kids are trespassing into inappropriate sites or engaging in inappropriate acts. Also, you get to control their screen time and many more.
Should parents join Snapchat? The choice is yours to make as a parent, although you don’t have to go through needless stress to monitor your child. Likewise, you don’t have to cut them off from the fun and other benefits of this platform.
In response to this, just put the safety measures outlined above in place to help your kids use this app responsibly. Perhaps, you’re still tempted to join Snapchat as a parent. What might be your reason?
It may interest you to check out the ultimate ways of handling family problems.
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