Common Sense Media & Snapchat

Snapchat LogoFrom Common Sense Media’s website:

Kids and teens love using the messaging app Snapchat because it lets you send texts, pictures, and videos that you program to disappear after a few seconds. Snapchat also offers fun, easy-to-use instant-editing tools that let you add cool effects to your “Snaps,” such as captions, drawings, and emojis.

The fact that the messages don’t last makes texting feel like a game, and it offers a sense of freedom: Kids can share the silly, fleeting moments of the day that don’t rise to the level of, say, an Instagram or Facebook post that documents their lives. On the other hand, they may be tempted to share inappropriate images, thinking the pics will go away.

But parents should be aware that it’s not actually true that Snaps disappear forever. You can purchase additional “Replays” — though you’re limited to one Replay per Snap. It’s also possible — especially in the case of friendship drama or dating/flirting situations — that the receiver could take a screenshot using his or her phone or another app to capture Snaps. So kids really need to use good judgment about what they send.

Learn more about the pros and cons of Snapchat and how to help your kid use it responsibly here:  https://www.commonsensemedia.org/app-reviews/snapchat.

Does Snapchat have a minimum age?
Yes, the minimum age is 13, in compliance with the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Snapchat ask for a date of birth upon sign up, and if the birth date indicates that the user is under 13, they’re not allowed to create an account.

Connect Safely: A Parents’ Guide to Snapchat, please visit: https://www.connectsafely.org/wp-content/uploads/snapchat_guide.pdf

Bottom line:  Snapchat, as with other social media sites, is not intended for use by children under 13.  Parents should carefully monitor their children if they choose to allow them to use social media when they are under the age of 13.

 

 

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