What Affect is Snapchat Having on Our Kids?
We can all agree that Snapchat has been proven to be pretty addictive...
What started out as a way to communicate with friends has turned into a platform where people post their every move for the world to see.
But what are the long-term effects of using Snapchat? Is it changing the way our kids think and behave?
Let's explore some of the pros and cons of Snapchat, and try to answer that question. Stay tuned!
1. What is Snapchat and how do you use it?
The Snapchat app is a social media platform that has been around for 6 years - released in 2011 and at the time of writing, it has over 290 million daily active users.
The main purpose of the app is to send pictures or videos which are called “snaps”. Users can post these snaps to their story, which allows anyone who follows them (or their account) on the app to see it.
These stories disappear after 24 hours and they cannot be edited or deleted once posted.
If someone sends you a snap, you would reply with an emoji like if they sent you one of those "hearts" then you could respond with one of those "smiles".
2. Why do people love snapchat?
There are several reasons why people love this app!
One of the main reasons why it's so popular is because everything that happens on Snapchat, stays on Snapchat.
So no matter what you post or send, whether it be a text message or video, it won't go beyond the app.
This helps users feel safer about turning to their phone for help with any problems they could be facing.
An example of this would be bullying - if someone sends you something mean over snapchat there isn't much anyone can do about it because once you delete your messages they're gone forever!
3. What are some of its positive effects and negative effects?
It's pretty clear that Snapchat has changed the way many people communicate with one another.
Some people love Snapchat because it gives them a sense of freedom that other social media platforms don't - like Twitter and Facebook, there's little evidence to suggest that Snap Chat has had such a large impact on our society as these other two networks.
However, there are some negatives associated with this app!
Critics say that young adults who use the app often experience problems with anxiety and depression because they think about their image too much and compare themselves to others via the stories feature.
As mentioned before, some people criticise Snapchat for making people care too much about their image - essentially creating something known as "Snapchat Dysmorphia".
This new body-image issue comes from constantly comparing yourself to others via Snapchat stories.
It can be hard for young adults who are already struggling with self-confidence issues to hear derogatory comments about themselves when they see videos of other people in their stories.
4. How are social media apps changing the way parents raise their kids?
Social media is everywhere nowadays - it's become a part of everyday life for many people, including young children.
For example, when taking pictures with your kids you might notice that they pose with different facial expressions or angles to make them look better in comparison to others on social media sites like Snapchat!
This can be harmful because teaching children that they're only good enough based on how aesthetically pleasing they are can have negative effects later in life when real-life situations occur where looks won't matter.
Instead, they'll feel worthless because they don't look perfect according to what society has deemed as "perfect" in comparison to the pictures they see online!
5. Are kids allowed to use snapchat?
Yes! Kids can join Snapchat as long as you have your parent's permission and knowledge of the app!
Snapchat is extremely popular amongst teenagers, and most parents are aware of this fact.
That is why it's important to know whether your kid(s) use the app, how they interact with others on there, and whether or not you think it is affecting them positively or negatively in any way.
How to talk to your kids about Snapchat
So, you're thinking about how to talk to your kids about Snapchat?
Here are some tips that might help, but remember that every kid is different, and what works for one might not work for all.
Check in with them regularly; seems like an obvious one, right? But the truth is, parents need to make sure they actually do this.
Kids can be sneaky - we were too when we were their age!
Some parents think that if they sit down with their kids once every couple of months and talk to them then everything will be fine... wrong!
This just means that there could potentially be something going on behind their back that you don't know about yet.
What's important is to check in with them regularly, whether it be via Snapchat or anything else!
Let them know you are there for them; when talking to your kids about Snapchat, it's important to let them know they have someone who loves and supports them no matter what the situation might be.
If necessary, encourage them to talk to you if something goes wrong or they're confused about something that someone has said over the app.
Ask questions; asking questions can help parents understand how their kid(s) feel about the app and its users.
Try asking these types of questions: "What do you like most about using snapchat?" "Who do you send snaps to most often?". Also try "What do you like least about using snapchat?" or "Who is your best friend on Snapchat?".
Once parents have a good idea of the answers to all these questions, they can start to better understand their kid(s) and what Snapchat really means to them.
Limit screen time; limiting a child's screen time is essential - especially when it comes to apps that could potentially put them at risk online, such as Snapchat!
If there was ever a perfect example of an app which should be limited behind a kids' back, this would probably be it!
So make sure your child isn't able to use Snapchat for more than an hour each day, so they don't become addicted and/or dependent on it.
Teach them the dangers of cyberbullying; as mentioned before, cyberbullying is a huge problem among teenagers today.
There are several things that parents can do to help prevent this from happening more often than it has to - and by talking to their kids about Snapchat, parents can show how big of an issue this is!
By teaching them more about the dangers of cyberbullying and what Snapchat really means, they will be able to spot any signs of bullying more easily and know what actions they should take if such a problem arises.
What's really important is that parents need to work as hard as possible at preventing this form of bullying from occurring in the first place. If necessary, remind them that they have a safe place to talk about their problems and feelings.
It is important that parents do not criticize or scold their kids for talking to them about any problems or concerns they might have, whether it's on Snapchat or anything else.
With the introduction of Snapchat came a new form of communication for our children that has grown into what some say is an addiction.
The app allows them to share their lives with friends and family in real time, but there are concerns about how this may be affecting self-esteem among teens who feel pressured to always look good or worry about being caught on camera saying something they would regret later.
There hasn't been enough research done yet, so it's hard to know exactly what effect these social media apps have on kids long term - but if you're concerned about your child's mental health, consider some of the points above to minimise the risks until we know more...