Is Snapchat Safe for Tweens and Teens?
Is Snapchat safe for tweens and teens? Why or why not?To help you determine whether or not snapchat is safe for your young children, we asked child safety professionals and mature parents this question for their best insights. There are several insights and perspectives shared that may help you decide to what extent Snapchat is safe or unsafe for your tween or teen kids.Here are nine insights these leaders shared about the safety or otherwise of Snapchat for tweens and teens:
- Impersonation and Bullying Can be Troublesome on Snapchat
- There is Problem With Image Distortion and Abuse
- It’s Safe With Certain Best Practices
- Knowledge is Key to Making it Safe
- There’s the Mental Health Dangers of Filters
- Snapchat Isn’t Safe Due to Manipulated Addiction
- Parents Should Educate and Monitor Their Kids’ Use of Snapchat
- The Location Feature on Snapchat is Unsafe for Teens
- There’s Subtle Association to Improper Use
Impersonation and Bullying Can be Troublesome on Snapchat
Snapchat was something I didn’t take too seriously, especially for my son in fifth grade. I thought it was on its way out, primarily still used for selfies and showing off, but I was wrong. Soon after starting a profile, my son quickly had problems. It wasn’t with the “snaps,” but in the chat section. He began getting very upset, and I went through the messages. They were all bad. Mean. Hateful. It was awful. He deleted his profile, but the problems continued. Someone created a new profile with an avatar that looked just like him, and then started messaging his friends, posing as him. My son had to defend himself against statements he never made, and he was crushed. Please, don’t let your kids on this site, or be vigilant in monitoring it. These “messages in the moment” were nothing but trouble.
Lisha Dunlap, Chandler Gilbert Community College
There is Problem With Image Distortion and Abuse
Snapchat is not safe for adolescents. First, there is a geo feature built in for parents to be able to find their teens. The problem is that predators can find these teens as well using the geo feature. Next, the filters distort the true image in a photo. Eventually, teens end up believing the distorted image is real. Finally, teens think Snaps are gone quickly, but people take screenshots and send them to others resulting in lives being destroyed. Using Snapchat is just a bad idea for adolescents.
Janice Wald, Mostly Blogging
It’s Safe With Certain Best Practices
Snapchat is safe for tweens and teens if they follow the recommended best practices. These include not sending or receiving inappropriate content or messages, taking advantage of the “safe search” feature to block inappropriate or mature content, and refraining from sharing personal information such as phone numbers or addresses. Additionally, tweens and teens can use the “ghost mode” feature to prevent others from taking screenshots of their stories.
Matthew Ramirez, Paraphrase Tool
Knowledge is Key to Making it Safe
Snapchat can be a safe place for young people if they are taught how to use it well. The platform allows you to choose what content reaches you – both through a limited number of contacts that must be approved each time and advertising content that can be customized accordingly. If your child wants to use the tool – let them, but teach them to be responsible in the world they are about to step in.
Magdalena Sadowska, PhotoAiD
There’s the Mental Health Dangers of Filters
Snapchat and other social media platforms pose potential dangers to children’s mental health. Filters are extremely popular and can alter someone’s physical features. While it seems harmless, the mental toll it has on people can impact their self esteem. They may feel like their skin needs to be clearer or their hair needs to be lighter to match the filters or look like someone else who is using the filters. At this young of an age, we need to be boosting children’s self esteem on social media, not tearing them down in a virtual filter.
Natália Sadowski, Nourishing Biologicals
Snapchat Isn’t Safe Due to Manipulated Addiction
Snapchat isn’t safe for teens as it’s a manipulated addiction. Snapstreaks are the most innovative ways the company could create user fidelity and chronic use. A streak starts when two people send a snap to one another every day. Snapchat qualifies and quantifies a child’s friendships and communication. A score is given based on the quantity and length of the streaks to define one’s recognition, measure friendships, and worth. When you lose a streak, you lose the friendship. Also, the streaks create a level of friendship between people. The heavy media utilization during their development phase causes a loss of cognitive control.
Shivanshi Srivastava, Payday Loans UK
Parents Should Educate and Monitor Their Kids’ Use of Snapchat
Snapchat recently rolled out a slew of new safety features to help parents know a bit more about what their kids are doing on the app without entirely destroying their privacy. The debate over what age is appropriate for kids to start using all forms of social media is still raging with many experts citing the increase in mental health issues specifically for middle school aged kids on social media. That being said, there is no denying that social media is a very important part of modern life and removing your kids from that world runs the risk of them becoming socially isolated and ostracized. At the end of the day, nothing will support the role of good parenting and education about the best ways to use technology which should always begin at home.
Patrick Robinson, Paskho
The Location Feature on Snapchat is Unsafe for Teens
As a father to a teenage daughter, I will not allow her to have a Snapchat account. I believe that Snapchat is not appropriate for teenagers because it can be used to send inappropriate pictures and messages. Additionally, I am concerned about the privacy implications of the app – users are able to share their location with others, which could put them at risk. Snapchat with its location feature has potential for harm with young teenagers. A teenager should be wary of sharing their location with anyone on the app. If a teenager does share their location, they should only do so with people that they know and trust in real life.
For these reasons, I do not believe that Snapchat is a suitable platform for teenagers. On a personal note my 16 year old niece has Snapchat. While with the family at dinner she had two 18 year-old boys show up at the restaurant, because she shared her location with them. In my opinion, parents need to be careful if their teenagers are using Snapchat.
Shawn Ryan, Techtopia
There’s Subtle Association to Improper Use
Snapchat is a severely unmonitored platform. It is also associated with being used for sexting or things like that since it deletes messages after the recipient has seen them. Children therefore think of it as less likely to get caught. This weird aura around it is the reason I don’t think Snapchat is appropriate for children. There is a certain expectation of rule breaking, rebellion and coolness associated with the app which is definitely not healthy.
Agnes Zabawa, Insurancenavy
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