View Full Version : Snapchat?

11-08-2015, 06:04 PM
Do your kids have it? What are your experiences with it?

My son who will be 15 in two weeks and a freshman in HS is begging us to let him have this app. We have said no for two years. I went to an Internet Safety session and learned that the app was originally created by two college students for the purpose of sending nude pics that will vanish after a few seconds. The meeting was held by an FBI agent who specializes in child predators.

My son wanted it but wasn't that pressed about it for awhile, but now it's gotten to the point that he says it's hampering him socially not to have it as it has largely replaced texting amongst teenagers. Allllll of his friends have it and he feels totally left out by not being able to communicate with them that way.

DS is a very good kid. I trust him and feel like we've done a good job in raising him to have strong morals and make good choices. But, it's one app that we, as parents, cannot monitor, and even if he's a good boy, it's the other kids out there. Some of the girls his age are very aggressive and he gets a lot of female attention.

Anyone have any experiences to share with me to help me decide?

11-08-2015, 06:56 PM
I don't have kids that age, but snapchat has evolved to be much more than a disappearing chat app. Legitimate companies and news organizations use it now. I don't know about monitoring it. I have snapchat though, and I am most definitely not sexting anyone! Maybe download it yourself, and play around, and see if there are ways to monitor.

11-08-2015, 07:02 PM
Oh, one thing you can do is monitor his contacts and settings, and make sure he can only get snaps from contacts.

11-08-2015, 07:09 PM
My DD doesn't have it, but I agree it isn't what it used to be. Although the 20 somethings at work use it for hook-ups....

Mainly my DD uses Instagram and Tumblr. No idea if that is really better, but it feels better to me LOL!

11-08-2015, 07:45 PM
So I came across this article. I read the article and decided it would be okay. Then I read the comments and am again conflicted.


11-08-2015, 08:42 PM
I'm a high school teacher so my perspective is probably pretty different, but I am NOT a fan of snapchat. It is quite possibly the worst app for high school students, many are OBSESSED with it. I have had students use it to cheat on tests and found that the number of kids who had access to the information was virtually impossible to figure out because of the short-lived nature of the communication.

That being said, I know it is probably the number one communication tool between students at my school. I don't know much about it beyond what I overhear, but I am not a fan.

11-08-2015, 08:55 PM
Wow, I never considered the cheating angle :(

I don't get it, but i figured I'm too old for all that. Then my friend's dd received a msg from an acquaintance saying she didn't want to live anymore. This kid had a history of depression and the counselor had been alerted before. By the time she called me for advice, the msg was gone, so no proof. She reported it to the principal and the counselor, who followed up on it, but just imagine.. I think it's as dangerous as other apps, in terms of potential misuse.

11-08-2015, 09:30 PM
At a principal's coffee (basically an open Q&A for parents & principal and counselors) at our middle school earlier this year, the counselors BEGGED the parents to monitor their kids' social media accounts more closely. They said that we *would not believe* how much of their time was taken up with issues related to it, mentioning Snapchat, Kik, and Instagram specifically. My middle schoolers (6th and 7th grade) have Instagram only, I've said no to Snapchat, Kik has not come up (yet). It is a slippery slope indeed...

11-08-2015, 10:33 PM
I don't have kids that age either and don't know much about snapchat. But the concept that they can do something and have it disappear in about 20 seconds is not one I want to reinforce with my kids. I want them to be very aware that their actions (especially where social media and new technology are concerned) are lasting and will have consequences.

11-08-2015, 10:51 PM
I don't have kids that age either and don't know much about snap chat. But the concept that they can do something and have it disappear in about 20 seconds is not one I want to reinforce with my kids. I want then to be very aware that their actions (especially where social media and new technology are concerned) are lasting and will have consequences.

I think kids need to know that all it takes is a screenshot and whatever is there lives on forever, as does everything on the internet!

DD1 (6th) asked for SnapChat and Instagram (haven't heard Kik come up yet). I said no to both, b/c they both have a 13yo age requirement. So I'm good for a year, although many (most?) of her friends have them already.

I really need to be better about taking her phone and checking what's on there. Although she needs DH or me to put in a passcode to download an app, so at least she doesn't have them on the sly.

11-08-2015, 11:22 PM
My DD had snapchat, kik, whisper, and Instagram. She now only has Instagram so that she can chat with her birth mom, but I monitor it closely. I removed the other apps from her phone and also put restrictions on it. I took away her ability to download apps completely because there are so many bad apps out there. Yes, it was as bad as you can imagine.

11-09-2015, 01:00 AM
My 4th grader wants Kik on her deactivated iPhone 4s and I said no. If she wants to text her friend she can use mine or DH's phone. She hasn't asked to text more than one or two friends and the last time was a few months ago.

11-09-2015, 02:49 AM
DS1 (12) has Instagram only but pretty much never uses it. He really doesn't use his phone at all, except to listen to music with Spotify. He has my super old Samsung Victory phone that has barely any space for new apps. He doesn't text on it either. He talks to his friends using Google Hangout.

Meatball Mommie
11-09-2015, 10:02 AM
Say no as long as you can...seriously. I do not like snapchat at all. My oldest is only 12 and hasn't asked for it yet (luckily). He had twitter for a school project (long story) and I had him delete it immediately after. We had 2 18-year-old boys living with us last school year for an exchange program. Trust me, snapchat is used for all the things you don't want kids to use it for. There's this false idea that the snaps are completely gone after you've viewed them, but anyone you send it to can screenshot it (and they do) and then post that pic wherever they want. Nothing disappears from the internet and until a kid can understand that, he/she is not old enough to use the app. Just google "snapchat nudes" and you'll see what I mean. Terrifying. I closely monitor my children's use of the internet (although I am by no means a helicopter mom - the internet just really frightens me).

eta: snapchat is extremely addictive. The teenagers that lived with us were constantly on it (and twitter). It was disturbing how much time they spent looking at their phones and really opened my eyes to social media use among teenagers.