Parents are always concerned about the safety of their children and try to protect them as much as they can. However, they can’t be everywhere to track their activities and see what they are doing. Especially in the virtual world i.e social media, the internet, etc.
Parent’s of teens are most concerned about social media sites because there their child can come in contact with stranger who can be a scammer, predator, or criminal.
One such app that parent’s should be careful of is Snapchat. Although the age limit on Snapchat is 13, it is still not safe for teenagers. In this article I will tell you about the cons of Snapchat for parents that your should be aware of if you are a parent to a tween or teen.
Snapchat Terms Parents Should Know About?
Before moving on with the dangers of Snapchat as mentioned on Spydrill, let’s discuss about some terminology about Snapchat that parents must know about.
1. Snapstreaks: It is a streak on Snapchat which is created when two friends on the platform snap each other for at least 3 days in a row. However, to create a snapstreak the gap between each snap should not exceed 24 hours. The longer the streak the better is the friendship between the two individuals on Snapchat.
2. Snap Map: The Snap Map is a special feature of Snapchat where it shares the location of the user on the map. This location is only visible to the user’s friend. You can enable or disable this feature at your will.
3. Snapchat story: You must have seen stories on apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Snapchat story is similar, it is collection of videos and images.
4. Snapcode: The Snapcode is provided by Snapchat to each of it’s users. It is QR code which you can share with others so they can scan it and be your friend in an effective and stylish manner.
5. Snapchat Discover: Snapchat Discover is the place where you can find content created by clebs, influencers, and new outlet all at one place. If you like someone’s content then you can subscribe to their Discover source for regular feeds.
What Are The Cons Of Snapchat For Parents?
Now you must be little aware of what Snapchat is even if you have not used it ever. So let’s talk about the cons of Snapchat that parent’s should know about if they want to keep their children protected from the negative sides of Snapchat. So Let’s begin!
1. It Provides A False Sense OF Security
Snapchat offers disappearing snaps feature using which your sent messages, photos, videos get deleted after a set time. With this feature on their side, kids don’t hesitate to share their private or embarrassing photos with their friends on snapchat thinking that it’s only between the both of them.
To some extent it is true, also even if someone tries to take a screenshot of the photo the send get’s notified about it. However, if someone uses a third party app then they can take screenshot on Snapchat without the other person knowing about it. This means the private photos can leak online easily which is not good fot your child’s safety and privacy.
2. Snapchat Needs To Reconsider Their Age policy
According to Snapchat their platform is safe for people above 13 years of age. However, not all parents agree with that because lot’s of 18 plus content is readily available on the platform to which a teenager can easily get access to.
What’s worse is even a kid younger than 13 years of age can easily create an account on Snapchat by providing fake details and that’s what is more concerning for parents. According to most safety professionals the right age to use Snapchat is 16 and up.
3. Sexting Is Common On Snapchat
Snapchat provides one of the best platform for adults who are intrested in sexting becasue one can easily send their nudes to other as it comes with the dissapering message feature.
Not just adults but teengares these days also missue this feature of Snapchat for sexting purpose. Since they know that even if their parnet’s manually check their phone they won’t find anything because every proof of sexting is gone already.
Although, it is not good for teenagers to indulgue in sexting even with their friend, the real problem arises when they start sharing their inappropriate photos with stranger which can be a online predator that can cause harm to your kids.
4. Snapmap Can Be Dangerous For Kids
If the Snapmap feature of Snapchat is not diabled then your child’s location can be tracked by their Snapchat friends. This can be dangerous for your child if they have added strangers in their friends list then they will know the current location of your teenager.
If the stanger happens to be a criminal then they can even abduct your child by knowing their location from the Snapmap feature. Sharing the location of the users is one of the biggest cons of snapchat for parents.
5. You Can’t Filter Content Based On The User’s Age
The Snapchat discover feature allows you to see all the contents from around the globes that is created by the Snapchat creators. There is all type of content on Snapchat like adult content voilence, drugs,etc. Since there is no content filter, it is not safe for your kids because they can easily access all the inappropriate content easily.
6. It Is A Great Time Killer & Addictive
Snapchat can be relly fun and if your kid start loving it then it’s hard to keep track of time. It can eat up lot of your kid’s time which they can invest in playing or learning something new. Also, it can get addictive which can overall deteriorates the mental and physical health of your child.
7. Snapchat Can Take A Toll On Your Kid’s Mental & Physical Health
If your kids invest a lot of their time on Snacphat then it can negatively affect their physical and mental health.
Also, on Snapchat they can be bullied easily which can cause stress and anxiety in the children. Snapchat also result in low self esteem. Overall, if the parent’s be careless and let their child use Snapchat without supervision then it can be very harmful for their child.
How To Prevent Child From The Negetive Effects Of Snapchat
It’s hard to keep teenagers away from something they like, it may due to peer pressure or for any other reason you cannot stop kid from using Snapchat they will find one way or other to use the app. However, it’s your duty to keep you child safe from the dark sides of Snapchat. If you don’t know where to start then you can follow the below steps to do the same
1. Tell Your Kids About The Dangerous Of Snapchat
You need to alert and aware your kids from the risks associated with Snapchat so that they know they are using a dangerous app. Be polite and talk to them in a friendly manner because if you scold them then they might not listen to you and start using Snapchat app even more.
Make them sit next to you and then one by one tell them the cons of Snapchat and how they can affect their life. If you are able to convince them properly then they might stop using Snapchat altogether. You can tell them that if they want they can use it once they are all grown up or in the supervision of some elders.
2. Keep A Manual Check On Their Phone
Bieng a parent of the 21st century kids it is your duty to keep an eye on your child’s phone. As a cell phone is a necessity and you cannot deny giving it to your children as it is very helpful in their studies and all. But since a smartphone can also be used for inappropriate activities it is you job to check their phone time to time to see if they are using it properly or not.
3. Use Third party Apps To Monitor Snapchat On Your Kids Phone
Should you monitor online activities of your kid? Isn’t it illegal? Don’t worry as long as you child is under 18 years of age you can monitor their online activities without informing them.
It’s a necessity these day as teenagers are really smart when it comes to hiding something from their parents. Also, it is hard to check the phone manually because the kids don’t allow their parent’s to touch their phone. If this the case with you as well then you can rather make use of phone monitoring apps that allows you to remotely monitor your kids activity on their device remotely.
All you have to do is to purchase a parental control aka monitoring app like mSpy, FamiSafe, or fenced.ai of your choice. After purchasing the app you will need the physical access to your kids device for just once.
You can easily have hands on their phone when they are sleeping or went out for paying. You can install the app in under 5 minutes. Once installed you will never have to touch their phone again. Also, you don’t have to worry about the kid knowing about you spying on them because these apps are hidden and installed with a fake name and icon so your kid will never know about them.
Such apps start working the second you have installed it on their device and start recording all the activities your child does on their phone including their Snapchat activities. With these apps, you can see what Snaps your kids are sending, read their message, and track their location in case they are not at home at the moment. What’s better is that these apps even allow you to block the apps remotely from your device that you don’t want your child to use.
Snapchat Phrases Children Use That Parents Should Know About
Kids these days are very smart they know their parents can check their phone manually or using a monitoring app and hece they talk to their friends in slang and abbreviations which their parents don’t understand. You don’t worry I wil introduce you to some of the most commonly used slangs on Snapchat by teenagers so that you can understand what they are talking about.
1. PYMOS – PMOYS is an abbreviation of Put me on your Snapchat It is sent as a request to someone when one wants them to add their photo to other’s story.
2. GAS – It is a short form for “Good afternoon streaks“. One send this snaps to their special friend with whom they are sharing the streak.
3. Bae – Teenagers or youth generally use this term to describe their crush or lover. It can be used on any social media platform and isn’t restricted to Snapchat only.
4. Fam – It is a shot form for Family. Some snapchat users refer their followers or friend as Fam to make them feel special.
5. RDH – It is an acronym for Rate, Date, and Hate. This message is sent to someone when one wants them to rate them and ask whether they will date or hate them.
6. Trade – It means to exchange Images. When someone send this message they want them to send their photo and in exchange they will send theirs.
7. ICYMI – I See You Missed It. If you sent someone a snap and if they have missed it then they send this slang.
8. SCB – Snapchat Back. You send this message to someone who you want to talk to urgently on Snapchat.
Should You Allow Your Children To Use Snapchat?
Snapchat says that it can be used by anyone above 13 years of age however, experts and parent’s don’t feel the same and most expert agree that the age to use the app should be above 16 years and more.
Nonetheless, looking at the cons of Snapchat I can’t recommend parent’s to let their children use Snapchat, specially without their permission. Even if you allow your kids to use Snapchat then make sure you also install a monitoring app on their phone so that you know what your kids are doing on it.