snapchatSafety experts will tell you that it’s important to be on the social media channels that your teen is using.  But what if you have no clue what they’re about?  New ones pop up regularly and most parents simply can’t keep up with which ones are safer than others or even how to use them.  So, I decided to enlist my daughter to help parents get a better understanding of the more popular apps that teens use.  The first she covered is Snapchat.

Q: What is Snapchat?

A: Snapchat is an app that lets you share images with your friends but they can only be viewed for a few seconds. 

Q: Can you put videos on Snapchat?

A: Yes, you can. You can send directly to someone and put them on your story.

Q: What is a Snapchat story?

A: A Snapchat Story is a series of photos or videos that all your friends will see. They can go back to look at it for up to 24 hours.

Q: Can people save your Snapchats?

A: Yes, somebody can screenshot a photo of yours to save it, but they cannot save videos. You can save your own videos and photos, though.

Q: Can anybody randomly start following you on Snapchat?

A: On Snapchat, there is a search option to find people to add. Anyone can follow you, but you will be notified.

Q: Can you see who has added you on Snapchat?

A: When someone adds you on Snapchat, you will, again, be notified. However; you can’t always go back and see everybody who had added you.

Q: Can you block people on Snapchat?

A: Like many other social media sites/apps, you can block someone so that they no longer can add you or see your Snapchats.

Q: Can you add special effects to photos?

A: Yes, you can add filters and write on your photo as well as a few other effects.

Q: Do you feel there is more opportunity for bullying on Snapchat as opposed to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.? Why?

A: Unfortunately, bullying can happen on social media. If you send your boyfriend a photo or another friend they can screenshot it and save it.  Then if you break up or they get angry with you they can share it online and it could be embarrassing.

Q: How can parents stay on top of what’s happening on their child’s Snapchat?

A: Check what your child is sending and who is sending them Snapchats. See if they have saved any Snapchats by screenshotting them. 

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