We’ve all heard at the warnings and dangers of Snapchat since their beginning. All about how it was meant as a sexting app. All about the way it has been abused. *snooze*
I actually have a Snapchat, and somewhat to my surprise, I enjoy using it. It has fun filters and they’re equally fun to send to my wife, family, and friends. But there are some downsides; downsides that parents and teens need to watch out for.
Snapchat: On your left you have a list of your conversations. In the middle, your camera and filters. On the right however, is the thing to watch out for. It’s all a page for businesses and magazines. Whenever I have checked there, almost always there is a sexual or inappropriate article, usually following the Kardashians or Selena Gomez’s latest pose. At the moment, there is no way to customize what you see there. It’s whatever Snapchat wants to push at you.
Why is this bad? Because the subtle effects these articles have will build up over time. Looking at women who are 90% naked isn’t good for anyone (unless it’s your wife. What? It’s true).
Instagram: Instagram is one of those apps that is really cool. I love that you can share pics of your life with your friends and make them look really neat, even if you have no professional skills. *Raises hand*
But recently that added a new feature that has a serious creep-factor to it. Under your profile tab, there’s a “Saved For Later” button. Under any picture (ANY picture) you’ll find a ribbon. Click that, and the picture is now “Saved for later.” The creepy part is that no one will ever know that you saved their picture. To put it bluntly, it’s a great way to save sexy pics (or worse) in one spot, without anyone ever knowing. It lacks accountability, and is very hidden.
I would highly recommend having a conversation with your kids about this feature. Not one of those “Don’t you dare ever do anything behind my back” talks. Because those work so well. Instead, have a talk about why you’re concerned about this feature, and of the dangers and temptations it can lead to.
The important thing is to constantly have open discussion with your kids, teach them the principles of God’s Word, and then trust them to do what’s best. Will you need to set up ground rules? Possibly. That all depends on you and your situation.