Snapchat is one of the most widespread social media platforms in the world. Statistics show that about 375 million people use Snapchat every day!
It is a rather simple app that lets people communicate with each other and share experiences through photos.
The most unique feature of Snapchat is those fun dog and cat filters we all love to use. That’s why so many children regularly use it!
But should parents let children use Snapchat? Well, Snapchat’s age limit is 13 years old, so it’s best if you follow that and do not let children use Snapchat until the age of 13.
The Pros of Snapchat for Kids
As we mentioned before, Snapchat is a unique platform that offers countless opportunities for children, especially teens.
The fun filters raise a sense of humor in children, and the feature to chat with one friend or even whole friend groups is amazing!
Also, if our children want to share a beautiful picture they took, or simply just share a fun selfie with their friends, Snapchat is the perfect app.
Moreover, like every other social media app, Snapchat allows its users to keep up with trends. So kids that use Snapchat ‘don’t live under a rock’ (unlike us, parents, apparently).
The Cons of Snapchat for Kids
Like every social media app, Snapchat has its own negative side. Firstly, because Snapchat has millions of users it’s often the perfect field for hackers, scammers, and security breaches.
That’s why your children must keep personal information safe while using Snapchat. That includes not sharing any private info with others.
Moreover, cyber bully and predator attacks often are present on Snapchat. Studies show that the chance of a child being bullied on Snapchat is 69%!
That’s because children share their selfies on Snapchat, after all, that is the point of the app. And cyberbullies take the chance to make fun of people that just want to share their experiences.
Inappropriate content is also present on Snapchat. Nudity and violence are often shared on Snapchat. So, make sure to check up on your children, and let them know to avoid this type of content.
And last but not least, children can get addicted to Snapchat. As bizarre as it sounds, some children just can’t stop trying out funny face filters!
Tips for Parents to Ensure Safe Use of Snapchat
Snapchat is aware of the dangers children can face while using the platform. So there is a feature called Snapchat Family Centre that allows parents to know who their child is contacting, and report users.
Other parental control apps, such as FamiSafe, Airdroid, and Hoverwatch Parental Control, also offer parents the option to monitor their children’s Snapchat activity.
But even if you decide to monitor children’s Snapchat with parental control features you must talk to your children about the dangers they can find on Snapchat.
Educating your children about the importance of staying safe online, by teaching them how to recognize dangerous behavior, is a must in today’s digital world.
Snapchat is, as we said, a fun platform. It has its positive (cute doggy filters!) and negative features (such as cyberbullies and online predators).
So, if you don’t know when to give your child access to Snapchat, the best thing to do is go with Snapchat’s age limit (13 years old).
If you think that your child still isn’t ready for Snapchat at 13 years of age, or is already mature earlier, then make another decision. All in all, the decision is in your hands because you know your child best.