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A Parent’s Guide to Snapchat

Snapchat, ask any person above the age of 35 who doesn’t have kids about the app and while they may have heard about it, they’ll probably be utterly confused as to what it’s about.  Even for people with kids, they most likely have heard their kids talk about it but haven’t bothered to learn more.

The reality is every parent not only needs to be familiar with Snapchat but should have an account and use it.  To put it into perspective, 150 million people now use Snapchat and 85% of the users are between 13 and 34 years old.

Parents, I get it – you’re tired of trying to keep up with the latest apps and social media channels.  Let’s face it, we’re just not as fast as our kids on this.  But not only is your tween or teen most likely using Snapchat but there’s a good possibility that they’re abusing it.

To help you get up to speed, I’ve gone to one of my best sources – my 14 year-old daughter to provide parents with a few key things that they need to know:

Snapchat is one of the most used apps worldwide.  You can take a video or picture, add text, colors, or stickers and send it to whomever you chose. You can change a setting so the recipient can see it for anywhere from one to ten seconds. You can also put an image or video on your story, where anybody that is friends with you can see it for 24 hours. After a friend opens a direct snapchat, it disappears, or so users think. Many users are now using snapchat as a way to send inappropriate or personal images to people, with the intention that they will go away after a few seconds. However, there are ways to save snapchats, replay them, and hide your own saved snapchats from parents.

  1. Screenshotting. When someone receives a snapchat, they can take a screenshot. Then, the image automatically saves to their own phone. The sender gets a notification that there snapchat was screenshotted, but there is nothing they can do to erase it, now that the image is saved on the recipient’s phone. This is extremely common among friends and boyfriends/girlfriends. A girl will send inappropriate photos to her friend or boyfriend and then, when the relationship ends, the boy will share the photo with his friends and it will eventually go viral. 
  2. My Eyes Only. My Eyes Only is a newer setting. If someone takes a picture or video, they can save it to their memories, which is basically the camera roll, but on the snapchat app itself. If there is an inappropriate or personal snapchat that someone has taken and wants to save but doesn’t want people to find, they will transfer it to their My Eyes Only. This setting is basically the same as the memories setting, but requires a password to get into.
  3. Replay. Once a snapchat is opened, you have one more chance to see it again. If you press down and hold the screen on the name of whomever sent the snapchat, the snapchat will re-open as if you had never even opened it in the first place. Then, one can screenshot it and save it.
  4. Messaging over Snapchat. Aside from sending images and videos, people can also message each other, exactly like texting, Unless the user saves them however, they will disappear and you cannot replay them. If you don’t save them, there is no way of going back to see your messages again.

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