If you think you already did your due diligence by laying down a major threat on your tweens or teens when you restrict their Facebook, Instagram or Twitter access – think again. Snapchat is the next social media phenomenon to gain popularity with the tweener age-group and is bluntly known as the “sext-friendly app”. Snapchat has quickly become the 4th most popular app on iTunes and claims to process over 30 million messages a day.
It allows users to to take racy photos that automatically delete a few seconds after being sent. Think of it like Instagram, but with a time, and the longest amount of itme the recipient has to view it is 10 seconds.
But here’s the thing – as we all know, the internet is written in pen, not pencil – it’s safe to assume that NOTHING disappears from the internet forever. This app has the tween and teen age group thinking that it does. As with most smart phones, the recipient can easily take a screenshot of that disappearing message. In addition to that, Buzzfeed.com recently exposed a security flaw that says it lets recipients retrieve videos sent via Snapchat.
What’s a parent to do? Obviously this is a big lesson to teach our kids that nothing is provide and anything you do on social media can last forever.
The laws on social media are still being written as made clear by a recent article posted through Masable about students at a New Jersey high school that could face child pornography charges:
Explicit images sent via Snapchat prompted a police investigation after two freshman girls shared pictures on the controversial app and later found them posted on Instagram. The Ridgewood High School students sent photos to at least one male classmate who took screenshots in order to save them to a gallery.
Slowly, but surely, a few defenses are come into play for parents. CoolMomTech recently published an article SnapCat – a new app that exists in the background of your child’s iOS-based smart device. It does nothing until they try to share a photo of questionable taste:
For instance, if my 12 year old were to share a photo of herself wearing her new bikini to her 1,300+ Snapchat “friends,” SnapCat would spring into action by automatically replacing her photo with one of more than 500 adorable kittens. Hilarious!
So, how up are you on kids on Snapcat? Are you comfortable with it? Have you talked to them about it?