- Alcohol, Drugs, and Smoking
- Back to School
- Cell Phone Parenting
- Character Strengths and Life Skills
- Cyberbullying, Haters, and Trolls
- Early Childhood
- Facebook, Instagram, and Social
- Learning with Technology
- Marketing to Kids
- Mental Health
- News and Media Literacy
- Privacy and Internet Safety
- Screen Time
- Sex, Gender, and Body Image
- Special Needs and Learning Difficulties
- Technology Addiction
- Violence in Media
How can I know that my teen is being safe and responsible when she's using anonymous/self-destructing apps such as Snapchat?
Snapchat -- the photo-sharing app that lets you text a picture that disappears within one to 10 seconds -- is designed to capture fleeting moments. The app seems like a consequence-free way to share life's little moments. But if kids think the photo will self-destruct, it's not hard to imagine they might send something they otherwise wouldn't.
The trouble is, there's no guarantee that anything they send to someone else will stay private. Once posted, sent, or shared, it's out of their control. Recipients can take a screenshot of the image and share it with others. There are also third-party apps that can be used to save Snapchat images without the sender knowing, and these apps have been hacked in the past and "private" Snapchat" images shared with the public online.
Your kids may view Snapchat as easy, fun, and cool. So long as it's used appropriately, it can be. You know your kids best and probably have a good sense of their maturity levels and levels of impulse control. But anything that reduces the time between thought and action is a risk for kids, whose ability to think through the consequences of their actions isn't fully developed. It's critical that you discuss appropriate, responsible use of the app and why sexting is a giant no-no.