If you haven’t heard already, we’ve recently added Snapchat monitoring into our list of offered features. This came after much request and anticipation from our community of parents, who wanted in on the trend that’s taken over every child’s social media habits. In the past, we tried to find a way around it by giving you Live Screenshots. We would advice that you remotely take screenshots of your child’s phone whilst they are Snapchatting. While that was a temporary means of supervising, we wanted to create something permanent and purposed based for monitoring the Snapchat app. So we are absolutely pleased to have brought for this long awaited feature.
For parents who are not fully familiar with the Snapchat craze, let me bring you up to speed.
What is Snapchat?
Snapchat is a mobile app that people use to send photos and videos. These photos or videos can be sent to individuals or groups, in the same way that you can message a single person privately on Facebook or set a status for all to see. What is the unique selling point for this app? The photos or videos self destruct after a designated time. For instance, if you have set the timer for the photo to self destruct within 15 seconds, the picture will be gone forever after that. Moreover, the receiver cannot download the photo (although you are able to do so). They can take a screenshot, but the sender is informed right away if they do so.
There are other little tidbits that you can do with Snapchat as well. You can doodle over pictures, add emoticons and captions on the photos. Moreover, Snapchat keeps on coming with filters that give your picture an extra oomph. Kids have way too much fun with the filters. If you don’t believe us, check out the dog filter (we are still trying to figure out why it is as popular as it is).
If sending a single person a picture is not enough for you, you can set up a Snapchat story which is essentially like a Facebook status because everyone on your friends list can see it. However, it is different because it is a collection of your photos and videos that you take in a day… and they self destruct within a 24 hour period.
What Does “Gone Forever” Mean?
A lot of people (parents, usually) can’t seem to understand the appeal behind the “gone forever” part of Snapchat. The app is used to send photos and videos to people. Generally, we believe photos and videos to be keepsakes. Something we can revisit and keep for memories. So the fact that this app zeroes in on the temporality of instant communication is unusual. Thus, parents are concerned that with this app, they can’t review the snaps and videos their child sends and receives because they cannot be saved on the smartphones.
We understand this dilemma completely. After all, we ourselves advice parents to monitor multimedia, don’t we. But there is more to the “gone forever” aspect that meets the eye. Like we’ve said so many times before, when you perform an activity on the internet, it leaves a digital footprint. Nothing is ever well and truly gone from the internet. You activity or posts are stored in several servers around the world, so you can’t ever be sure that they are deleted from everywhere.
The other thing is that the other person can take screenshots. While the sender of the photo is informed of this action, there is nothing they can do to stop it.
What is it Used For?
Generally, Snapchat is just a fun and instantaneous way of communicating with friends and family. It feeds the Millennial appetite of speed and instant gratification and it is just interactive and exciting to use.
However, the “gone forever” aspect of the app has been misused by teens and children. They feel like this gives them a security blanket for sexting. The risk of their frisky photos being distributed all over the internet are lower, so they let their guard down and send nudes or aggressive photos to strangers.
Like we’ve mentioned before, the “gone forever” aspect is only a false sense of security. There is no reason kids need to be less careful with this app that with any other app.
And now parents have been given the power to monitor Snapchat like all other messaging apps as well! We really want to push you to start using your powers for good. Snapchat happens to be the fastest growing social media app. Kids prefer using it to Facebook or Twitter, so more of your parenting muscle should be used for it!