Snapchat for Dummies – A Parent’s Guide to Snapchat

Snapchat for dummies. If you have kids, chances are they’re on Snapchat. If you’re like a lot of parents, chances are you have no idea what Snapchat is all about. Snapchat can be a fun app for the kids, but it can also be full of pitfalls and dangers, so you need to beware of those.

As parents, it’s important for us to understand the apps that our kids use, especially the ones that open them up to making potentially bad decisions. With that in mind, I decided to put together a little Snapchat primer for parents – Snapchat for Dummies.


Snapchat for Dummies – A Parent’s Primer

So let’s talk about Snapchat. If you don’t already know, Snapchat is a messaging app that focuses heavily on pictures and video. While there is a chat option, the majority of users focus on the photo and video aspect of the app. The app features filters that allow users to add visual overlays to their photos and videos, change their voices, and generally have a lot of fun being goofy. So far so good, right? Just good, clean fun. It can be, but…

Snaps Disappear

One big thing you need to know about Snapchat is that Snaps (the messages people send via Snapchat) disappear. Users can watch a Snap, and then replay it once. After that, it’s gone. Again, it doesn’t sound so bad. But think about the implications of this. Kids can now share images of almost anything with relatively little worry of being found out. This in and of itself isn’t dangerous, but children are biologically incapable of making good decisions. When you couple that with an easy to use app that make it easy to send almost anything and have it disappear, you have a recipe for bad decisions.

And here’s another important thing to note. While snaps disappear, it’s possible to screen shot them for future reference. So just like any other digital platform out there, nothing sent ever really disappears. That’s where the danger comes in often. Kids think their snaps vanish, but others can save them via screenshots and share them or keep them for future use.



The List of Bad Decisions is Long

My generation didn’t have apps like Snapchat. Heck, we didn’t even have Facebook or smartphones. So all of our discretions were relatively unknown and quite tame compared to today’s world. With the advent of technology and children’s inability to really understand the consequences of their actions, the ability to make really bad decisions is vastly increased. That’s why it’s so important that we have a Snapchat for Dummies guide that can help us navigate what our kids are doing. Some of the bad decisions that our kids can make from the ease of using Snapchat and its disappearing photos include photos and videos featuring:

  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Vaping
  • Physically dangerous activities (daredevil stunts)
  • Nude photos or videos
  • Secret meetup plans

Think it isn’t your child? Think again. I’ve seen many of my child’s classmates vaping, and drinking and doing things nobody should advertise.

The Biggest Snapchat for Dummies Tip

As with anything our kids are doing, the biggest thing to remember is to be vigilant. Know your child’s Snap habits and spot check their messages. They won’t love this, but it’s the only way to ensure that they make good decisions. If your child’s friends know that you are routinely checking Snaps, they will be less likely to send inappropriate content. The same goes for your child and the content that they send to others.

If you child is on Snapchat, be sure you bookmark this Snapchat for dummies post for future reference, so you can adequately protect your child against inappropriate Snaps and bad decisions. Snapchat can be a wonderful app, but it DOES require parental supervision.

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.

One Comment

  • Rima

    Content is all well and good, but how about some info on how to access, use, and be on snapchat? This really didn’t say anything but pay attention to your kids.