It’s practically impossible these days to expect kids to stay off social media for very long. Although some parents might have the discipline to ban their children from the various sites until a certain age, most parents see social media as a relatively harmless indulgence for kids. That might be the wrong attitude to take with Snapchat, an ingenious platform that has really caught on with the younger generation and can sometimes bring out the worst instincts in youngsters whose maturity might not have caught up with their technical savvy.
As anyone who has ever used Snapchat knows, it’s the main draw is that it allows you to send pictures to a number of close contacts, pictures which then disappear not long after they are sent. The idea is that it’s almost like sending a photo message to your buddies, with the added benefit that there’s no chance of an embarrassing digital footprint left over that will follow you for the rest of your natural life. But that lack of permanence can sometimes entice kids to act against their better judgment, and those actions can be quite damaging at times.
If you are concerned with Snapchat and how it might bring out the worst in your kids, a Snapchat spy is one way to combat it. In the meantime, consider the following reasons for keeping an eye on your kids’ Snapchat activities.
Temporary Is Tempting
Think about when you were a kid. If you thought you could do something quickly and get away with it before your parents or teachers could see it, you probably would have done it. Snapchat is the digital equivalent of that. Whereas the opportunities you might have had to engage in sneaky behavior as a kid might have been limited, Snapchat is always there, encouraging kids to sneak one past their guardians on a constant basis.
It’s doubtful that the creators of Snapchat had any idea that their innovation would encourage people to engage in a sexualized behavior because they thought there would be no consequences. But that’s exactly what has happened, mainly in the form of “sexting,” or sending provocative pictures back and forth and having them evaporate in moments. The problem is that kids aren’t ready for that kind of mature activity. Plus, by making a simple mistake when sending a picture, they could inadvertently leave behind an inappropriate image behind for everyone to see.
Potentially Bad Actors
Once upon a time, you could be assured that you would know personally every one of your children’s friends and close acquaintances. That kind of surety is shattered by Snapchat, as kids will often accept requests from the friend of a friend, and then a friend of that person as well. The end results are a bunch of contacts with access to your kids that you have no way of vetting as you would if you knew them in person.
Snapchat, if used responsibly, can be a wonderful way for kids to interact with their friends. But, as a parent, you have to understand how it can be abused so you can be prepared to counteract that behavior.