Snapchat needs no introduction, it’s one of the most popular social media apps that is used by millions worldwide. Like every other social media platform, it has its pros and cons. However, the Snapchat cons can convert into dangers in no time if the app is used by kids without their parent’s supervision.
If you are a parent then you must be always concerned about your child’s wellbeing. Isn’t it? I know it and therefore I thought to shed some light on the dark sides of Snapchat and introduce the parents to its negative impact on the teenager’s life. So that they can save their innocent child from the dangers of Snapchat before it’s too late. Without wasting any time let’s dive into the bad world of Snapchat, and find out ways to keep your child safe from it.
Table Of Contents
- Why Is Snapchat Bad? Especially For Children!
- Negative Effects & Dangers Of Using Snapchat For Tweens & Teens
- How To Avert The Risks Of Snapchat & Use It Safely?
- Snapchat Parental Concerns: Are They Real?
Why Is Snapchat Bad? Especially For Children!
Every app has an age restriction, which means that a particular app can only be used by people of a particular age group. For Snapchat, it is 13 years. However, it’s easy for kids younger than that to fool the Snapchat system and create an account for them.
It’s bad but what’s worse is that once your child’s account is created on Snapchat they are exposed to all the bad elements of the internet like bullies, predators, and scammers.
Also, teens and tweens don’t hesitate to share their private photos with someone on Snapchat as they believe it safe to do so because the messages are self-destructive. However, they don’t know that there are ways using which one can capture their sent photos and misuse them easily. This fake sense of security really makes Snapchat harmful for kids as well as adults.
This is only the tip of the iceberg, let me show you the real danger of Snapchat and its negative impact on your children’s life.
Negative Effects & Dangers Of Using Snapchat For Tweens & Teens
Yes, that’s right. Snapchat is widely used for sexting. In fact, it is considered as one of the best apps for sexting. After becoming friends on Snapchat, anyone can message your kid and start talking to them.
We all know that it’s really easy to convince the kids for doing something. While talking on messages in Snapchat it’s possible that your kid becomes a really good friend of someone and starts trusting them, even without knowing them personally.
There can be a high chance that after a time your kid starts to show affection for that person and gets baited for sexting and adult talks.
Everything you’re reading might sound silly but it’s quite a common thing that happens on social media. These predators are always in search of the new prey and they very well know how to get them trapped.
2. Sending Disappearing Photos
Self-destructing photos & videos is one of the main reasons for making Snapchat dangerous for teens and tweens. Snapchat itself confirms that one-fourth of its users use its platform for sharing sensitive content.
Disappearing photos might be sounding as a useful feature but it highly promotes the sharing of adult content on Snapchat.
Coming into a relationship has become really easy with social media. And at the same time, sending inappropriate images to that person is also becoming quite common.
The advanced features like disappearing photos provide guts to the kids for sending these inappropriate photos.
The kids can easily be convinced of sending the personal images of themselves. And those who resist sending their photos in a common way sometimes trust disappearing photos feature, keeping in mind that their photo will get deleted once opened.
But it should be kept in mind that taking screenshots of these photos is just a tap away.
3. Bullying And Cyber Threats
The teens get influenced easily and take the steps that should have never be taken. And the result of their mistake is the worst negative effect of Snapchat on kids i.e. bullying and cyber attacks.
As we have discussed above, the adult content sharing and adult conversation are becoming quite common on Instagram. But what if the person to whom it’s been sent is someone who’s willing to distort the image of your child in public?
Well, that’s gonna be disastrous for you and your kid. These types of activities give birth to child pornography, cyber extortion, and other cyber attacks.
The parents can still handle the situation if they get to know about any such problem. But most of the time kids fear to discuss these things with their parents.
The result of bullying and cyberattacks leads to a negative effect on the mental health of the kids. And in the worst-case scenario, it can also lead to physical harm that kids can do to themselves.
4. Snapchat Discover
Snapchat discover is a feature in Snapchat where you’ll find the feed from all over the world from various Snapchat users.
Your kids will find a countless number of interesting videos here which can be highly time-consuming. Moreover, there are high chances that the kid might become addicted to Snapchat due to these videos.
Secondly, many of the posts uploaded here are full of adult content. These types of videos can leave a really awful impact on the mind of the kids.
Why is Snapchat discovery so bad, you may ask? Let me tell you that this feature has no filter i.e, you cannot filter the content shown in it according to the user’s age.
5. Snap Map
The Snap Map feature of Snapchat is a tool using which, one can see the location of other users on Snapchat. This feature will allow the Snapchat friends of your kids to see their exact location while making a snap.
Basically, the idea behind this feature was to inspire other people from the friend list to visit similar places that they see on their friend’s snap.
This feature might be sounding really cool but is it safe for your children? Not, really because it reveals the location of your child to others.
If the Snapchat friends of your kids are those people who they know personally, in that case, the Snap Map feature is ok to use. But the problem can arise if the kid has added random people on Snapchat.
In the latter case, any random person can go to that particular place and approach your kid. Or he/she can find it as a good chance to solve personal issues.
In the worst case, it can also lead to an altercation and even abduction. It sounds frightening but it can really happen. And that’s why, in my opinion, Snap Map is the most dangerous feature of Snapchat for kids and parents should be really careful about it.
6. Eye My Vault Feature Is Problematic
One more negative of Snapchat is that it has a secret vault for protecting the photos using a 4-digit password. It is a safety feature just like the disappearing snaps. However, kids can store inappropriate photos in it which you can’t access because they are password protected. Also, this vault not only stores the Snapchat photos but any image from the camera roll that your kid may have captured or downloaded from somewhere. It is a big parental concern with Snapchat.
Why is Snapchat so bad and dangerous for kids? Parents always ask. One simple answer to this question is that Snapchat is bad because it’s addictive. Once your child starts enjoying Snapchat, there’s no turning back for them. It will eat up a big chunk of their time which could have been used for other productive activities like studying, playing, etc. Also spending more time on the phone using Snapchat is harmful to their eyes and overall health.
8. Low Self Esteem
Kids using Snapchat regularly may face low self-esteem because they may feel that their body is not as good as popular influencers on Snapchat. Low self-esteem in children negatively affects their minds and deteriorates their health over time. This is one of the biggest cons of Snapchat that parents may overlook.
How To Avert The Risks Of Snapchat & Use It Safely?
There’s a solution to each and every problem. Similarly, there are many ways through which you easily tackle the Snapchat threats that the kids might face while using it.
Simply denying them to use Snapchat is probably not the answer as it won’t solve the problem. In fact, you’ll make them even more anxious to use the app.
So, here’s the list of things that you can do to prevent the negative impact of Snapchat on kids.
1. Not Adding Unknown Users
This one thing can solve most of the Snapchat parental concerns. If your kids don’t add strangers to their accounts then only their friends can see their Snapchat activities.
It is not possible to view the location on Snap Map until the kid has added someone as a friend.
Even messaging someone is not possible if the two people are not connected with each other on the app.
2. Checking Account Manually
Most of the inappropriate things that the kids do in a cellphone are because they lack fear for their parents.
Some of the kids don’t bother while watching adult stuff on Snapchat. It happens when they know their cell phone is never going to get checked.
So it is always good to check the Snapchat account of the kid manually from time to time. You can also get to know their Snapchat password to see all their activities.
And why just Snapchat, their complete cellphone should be checked thoroughly.
3. Use Of Parental Control Monitoring Apps
This is one of the best ways to always keep an eye on the kid. Spying apps can even keep a watch over your kids when they’re not physically present.
A good Snapchat spy app tracks Snapchat and other social media accounts very swiftly. It allows parents to keep an eye on their kid’s Snapchat messages, friends, and feeds.
Parental control apps are also capable of solving the problem related to Snapchat addiction. Using monitoring apps, the Snapchat app can be blocked with just a single click. Hence, saving the kid from the addiction to the app.
You can also set the screen time limit for the app. The kids will be able to use Snapchat for the saved time and once the time gets elapsed, the app will get blocked.
You can read my review of Hoverwatch which is one of my most recommended monitoring apps to get details on how it can help you monitor the child’s phone.
4. Report And Blocking
In the first place, any random person should never be added as a friend on Snapchat by the kids. It can cause many possible threats to your child.
But even if the kid has added someone unknown and he/she is causing some problem, you don’t need to get worried.
Using Snapchat it is really easy to simply block someone and instantly report them.
After doing so, that person will not be able to disturb the kid any longer. And the Snapchat community will also take action against that person if the problem is serious.
Snapchat Parental Concerns: Are They Real?
Considering the negative side of Snapchat it is hard to declare Snapchat safe, especially for kids. And definitely not for children under 13 years of age. However, the risk associated with Snapchat can be countered if parents are aware and alert. If you have gifted your kid a new smartphone or thinking to give them one then don’t forget to install a parental control app on it. By keeping an eye on their phone activities using a parental control app you can keep your children safe from the dark sides of Snapchat.
Recommended articles for parents:
- Dangers Of Facebook
- Dangers Of Facetime
- Dangers Of Tinder
- The Unknown Dangers Of Clubhouse App
- Hidden Dangers Of Kik
- What Are The Dangers Of Instagram
Can Snapchat be monitored by parents?
As such there are no special tools that are given inside Snapchat to monitor kids. But you can surely take help of the spying apps like Hoverwatch for that. Check our review of the app (linked above) to learn more about it.
What age is appropriate for Snapchat?
The minimum age requirement for using Snapchat is 13 years. That said, anyone can easily put a fake Date of Birth and access the app.
What are the negative effects of Snapchat?
Regular use of Snapchat can cause addiction, anxiety, and depression. You may also notice eating and sleeping disorders if the use of the app is in excess.