Parents Concern Over Snapchat To Be A Safe Sexting App

snapchat 2Snapchat is a new trending app in texting option ranked 13 by App Annie Index. What’s the difference between Snapchat and regular text messaging? The difference is the availability to take a photo or record a video, and send to applicants that are linked directly to the user’s cellphone contact list. These photos or videos are allowed up to a max of 10 seconds before “self-destructing”; this only applies to others receiving the photo or video. Evan Spiegel, creator of the app Snapchat constructed this app for the simple task of just capturing the moment and having fun. The idea of Snapchat was created from Evan Spiegel’s friend sending an embarrassing photo but, was unable to delete the photo in time. The main target of audience is for teens and young adult ages ranging from 13-25. The growth of youth obtaining smartphones in this generation raises concerns from parents, believing in Snapchat as a “Safe sexting app”. Although, roughly 9% of cellphone users have Snapchat installed and is currently in use.

The assumption from parent concludes to the worst case scenario; known as “Sexting”. Sexting is the definition of taking illicit body photos and exchanging the photo for a similar sexual content photo. But, Snapchat includes in details before installing the application with the description of photos being perished completely. Also, there is a warning label of mild nudity or violence to inform users of what they may experience depending on the users. The sole purpose of Snapchat was never about using the app for injustice acts; if it was a game of pointing fingers, it should be the users fault for creating an indecent reputation of oneself.  There are news report relating to Snapchat between a 13-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy using the app by sending genital areas to the girl. Resulting in a bleeding fist fight between the girl’s brother and the 15-year-old boy; which ultimately ends with the blame on whom? Snapchat most likely ends with the blame. News report such as these provokes parenting groups to go against Snapchat. But, how often would these events of sexting occur? The answer is roughly 13.1% of population who uses Snapchat admitted to sexting. Compared to regular texting and Snapchatting the difference of higher Sexting rates is shown to be regular texting.

Small amount of news relating to sexting with Snapchat provokes parenting groups about using Snapchat. But, what’s the difference when the child has their own smartphone to use? The smartphones could easily be considered as a “pocket porn studio” stated by Dan Savages a columnist of sex advice. Snapchat is an app that specifically targets certain groups but, all the photos taken and all the video recorded is decided by the user. Not by the app itself, the user decides to download the app; that’s absolutely great that the app has caught the attention. The app itself is free and its revenue is at zero; parents believe it’s not right for their child then they may have the option to uninstall Snapchat. There are other options for parents that believe Snapchat may create threats for their child’s identity or safety but, believes their child should be given the freedom to express themselves. The option would lead toward a detailed guide for parents from this site. The site is not mainly for just Snapchat, it’s also for other popular social media sites such as Instargram and Facebook. The site is called Connectsafely.org, and in this guide; not only does the appreciation of children fun exist but, the safety concern of parents over sexting cause losses in time for “fun”. To the children, Snapchat is a way for change in self-reputations and the audience for the child would always be someone he or she knows.

Schools have yet to ban Snapchat due to the concept of disappearing photos after a certain time. Even schools find the usage of Snapchat to be less of harm to the children; ‘Well, because Facebook, everyone sees what I’m doing. But Snapchat is just to one person, unless they’re a jerk and they screenshot it and post it on Facebook. But mostly it’s just the person that you’re sending it to, so it’s like a conversation.” Quoted from a 16-year-old, considering that privacy isn’t an issue because the direction of conversation is intended only for those who you wish to converse. Parents should consider trusting their children and their choices. The app itself should not be placed on spotlight, more importantly parents should keep their child in line from doing something they would regret.

If Parents continue to believe that the age is not right for children 13 and above; a new creation called “Snapkidz” allows the child to take a picture. But, the idea is to keep the photos to themselves after editing the so called “ugly photo”. “Snapkidz” is mainly made for children under the age of 13 for safety and privacy reasons. Snapchat receives reputation for a “safety sexting app” but, is it not the child’s fault for moving outside of their comfort zone? Humiliation is part of the consequence that comes with improper usage of photo sharing. Snapchat is made mainly for close relationships between family and friends. The privacy and confidentiality is dependent on the trust between the two connected. Everything done on Snapchat should be confidential between the two users; the app should not receive criticism of the safety and privacy when the research and reliance is decided by the user. Parents provoked by their children using Snapchat needs to consider researching on options to keep privacy settings high. There are solutions and guides to handle the child’s settings.

Snapchat may provoke parents but, did they try out the app themselves before jumping to conclusions and labeling what they hear? I believe the parents do not trust their child or their child’s social circle; regular text messaging is just not as quick as using Snapchat. It’s believed to be quicker than sending e-mails and picture messages; moments come and go in a few seconds and that’s what Snapchat is created to satisfy the quick capture. Parents should understand that Snapchat is different from regular photos being taken and “Snap”. PEW research shows a statistical view of the new trending generation between their mobile devices and the usage of photo taking. Children’s ages from 12-17 was interviewed about the usage of Snapchat, children responded with satisfaction and freedom. I believe parental controls are provided to keep their child in check; not to follow their every move. The idea of Snapchat is fundamentally great, proper usage of the app is decided by the user. “Kids Love Snapchat Because They See Facebook Like Adults See LinkedIn” by Techcrunch blog shows the comparative view of a teen and an adult; helps to define the separation line of personal pictures to public pictures. As a new user of Snapchat, I believe that the app can be used for illicit and provocative images also; I believe it’s just for laughter and enjoyment of the photo.

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