What Parents Should Know About Snapchat

 Snapchat

First, it’s hard for children to imagine what life was like for their parents or grandparents.  While the majority of today’s kids are have smartphones, some of us were chained to the kitchen wall with a rotary dial telephone.

Furthermore, if we add social media to the equation we now have a worldwide audience available online.  Platforms like Facebook and Twitter have the biggest following.  But, Snapchat and Instagram also have huge online audiences.  However, most of their users are young people.

Teensafe is a tech app for parents to monitor their child’s online and smartphone activity.  Additionally, Snapchat has over 82 million users with 255 million “snaps” shared daily.  The majority of users are under the age of 25 and 41% of today’s teens use this popular photo sharing app frequently.  So, take a look at this video for more information.

The Internet Is Forever

Also, the majority of parents are teaching their children the important lesson that “the internet is forever.”  It is a fact, that things you post and share online are for an eternity.  However, sites like Snapchat often lure users into a false sense of security. Users think their posts disappear.  Unfortunately, they can saved easily and potentially shared.

As a matter of fact, 18% of Snapchat users admit to saving a humiliating or inappropriate snap or photo.  The intention was to embarrass the sender.  They planned to share it with their own friends or family.  Unfortunately, many young users are tempted to share risky, or damaging messages.  Simply because they believe they will disappear.

Monitoring Messages

Parents should be monitoring their children’s online activity for a variety of reasons.  This include cyberbullying, but there are other concerns when it comes to Snapchat.  For example:

  • Since the messages supposedly disappear, there’s no proof they ever existed
  • If the kids think inappropriate material will disappear, they are more likely to send inappropriate messages. This includes sexually graphic images, aka “sexting”
  • Other users can potentially share snaps with millions of other users.  So, just because they are sending messages to people they know, it can still be shared.

According to the legal terms of Snapchat, users are responsible for their online behaviors and the consequences.  In fact, the site owns the royalty rights to everything posted.

 

Snapchat

Know the Lingo

There’s some lesser known lingo that kids are using that will not make parents LOL  But, rather have them saying OMG.  Here are some alarming acronyms that parents should know:

 

  • 8 – Usually referring to the word “ate,” but it can also be a reference to oral sex
  • 53Z – Sex
  • CD9 – Code 9 (parents are present)
  • IWSN – I Want Sex Now
  • KPC – Keep Parents Clueless
  • LMIRL – Let’s Meet In Real Life
  • PAL – Parents Are Listening (or peace and love)
  • PAW – Parents Are Watching
  • PIR – Parent In Room
  • RU18 – Are You Eighteen (or older)
  • RUH – Are You Horny?
  • TDTM – Talk Dirty To Me
  • WUF – Where (are) You From?
  • WYRN – What’s Your Real Name?

Although Snapchat declines usage for those under the age of thirteen.  Many youngsters sign up regardless of this restriction.  So, please monitor your child’s online behavior. Discourage them from sharing inappropriate information.  It is imperative that they know that it will likely exist forever in cyberspace.

About the Author: Born and raised in Austin, TX, Hilary Smith is a free-lance journalist whose love of gadgets, technology and business has no bounds. After becoming a parent she now enjoys writing about family and parenting related topics. You can follow her on twitter: @HilaryS33
 

 

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