Loading...
The Family Room The Family Room Blog Home

Teen trend: What parents need to know about 'Snapchat'

Latest photo-sharing app makes it easy to ‘sext’ friends and send ‘self-destructing’ messages and video.

By Charyn Pfeuffer - MSN Living Editor Feb 12, 2013 9:45PM

It’s tough for parents to keep tabs on your children’s’ activity in the digital world. With passwords, it’s possible to access and monitor kids’ Facebook profile pages and photos – a study conducted among 500 social media users revealed that 72 percent of parents have their kids’ Facebook passwords and 43 percent check their pages daily.

But what happens when a hot new photo-sharing app – Snapchat – allows kids to snap and send an image or video that will then ‘self-destruct’ within a window of one to 10 seconds? This kind of one-on-one interaction makes it much easier for kids to hide their online activity from grown-ups.

Photo: SnapchatMore on MSN Living: How dogs make our lives better

Right now, the app is mostly used by teenagers ad college students reports 9News.com.
"It is a novelty, you use it because people use it with you," Devin Pendergast, a tech-savvy teen from Blaine, Minn. told KARE 11.

More on MSN Living: 10 adorable Valentine's Day ideas for kids

Many teens don’t stop to think about their digital footprint, much less how posts and pictures onit could haunt and humiliate in the future.

"Everything is permanent on the internet. Everything you do leaves an indelible mark," Jake DeWoskin, an IT Security Expert with KDV Technology and Consulting, told KARE 11. He says even if you don't screen grab or "shoot the message" with a different device, there are ways to recover it.

And then there’s the hot topic of sexting, or the sending of sexually explicit messages via cell phone or instant messenger.

"A majority of them readily admit that they're using it primarily for sexting," Tech Savvy Parenting author Brian Houseman told ConnectTriStates.com. "In a recent study, 39 percent of all texting teenagers admitted to sending a sexual oriented text message to someone else. Twenty percent of all texting teenagers have sent a nude or semi-nude photograph of themselves."

Houseman says, as parents, it's your responsibility to know what your teen is doing even if it's just sending pictures to his or her friends.

"As parents we have to be very vigilant, very engaged to know, what is it our teenagers are using on their phones, and on their iDevices, and androids, tablets, and those kinds of things and how are they using these devices," Brian Housman told ConnectTriStates.com.

Apps will come and go, but the hard truth is that what gets sent over the internet can last forever.

How do you talk with your kids about social media? What kinds of rules (if any) do you have in place regarding content and usage?

Bing: How to monitor your children's social media activity

Subscribe to The Family Room

More from Family Room:
Teen mom denied right to breast feed
Toddler death raises concern over car seat rules
Violent video games and child aggression

Love content like this? Friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and find us on Pinterest.

Readers: Calling all mom bloggers – we’re looking for fresh voices on MSN Living. Email us your samples and contact info!

Photo: Snapchat

0Comments

News, stories, tips and laughs for moms & dads

  • Family talking together

    5 reasons your family needs a weekend without any plans

    Remember the concept of weekends being a time for rest, relaxation, and togetherness? No? Us either. Between soccer games, playdates, dragging your kids to see the new exhibition at the local children's museum, and we need to pick up a gift for that birthday party that starts in . . . 20 minutes, juggling a busy family's weekend schedule can be more stressful than a weekday. While we know it's simply not realistic to cancel all your plans and obligations moving forward, clearing the calendar for just one weekend can be just the refresher that your family's craving. Here's why.

  • Kids who suck (Courtesy of Scary Mommy)

    10 kids who can drive you crazy

    Any of these sound familiar?

  • Swingset (YourTango)

    Why you might not realize your kid has abandonment issues

    4 steps for raising a child who doesn't feel emotionally stranded.

  • Getty Images

    7 things new moms will feel guilty doing, but should

    You just had a baby? You're a superstar! All those diapers, all that spit up, and you're makin' magic happen. But you're also likely tired - really tired - and busy (so, so busy). Taking time for yourself might seem like an indulgence but a happy mom makes for a happy baby. Here are 7 things you should definitely do to keep your sanity intact and your spirit high. <more, below>

  • DIY finger paints

    Kid-friendly DIY: 10 projects sure to inspire summer fun

    Summertime is on, and the kids are out of school. Every mom knows that for these three months it's more important than ever to keep the kids busy. But you don't have to schedule your life away with camps, or drop a bundle on activities and games that come in a box. You can make your own fun, and even include the kids in the prep, with some simple, inexpensive DIY crafts that will keep them playing 'til the lightening bugs come out. Make your own fingerpaint, bubbles, and crayons. Create a fort-building kit and superhero capes that will kick their imaginations into overdrive. Here are 10 of our favorite kid-friendly DIY crafts to fuel your summertime fun.

  • DIY modern dog bed

    5 easy-to-make dog beds

    Let these DIY dog bed projects be your inspiration and within a single weekend, you can construct something that really makes Rex feel like a king.

  • Global baby serum

    What to get someone who’s having a baby

    The task of finding an eco-friendly, safe-for-baby gift parents-to-be will actually use is kind of challenging. Add to that a price limit of $50, and the feat suddenly feels impossible! Fortunately, we combed the marketplace for some of the prettiest, most useful, sweetest gifts for baby and family. Many are fine on their own, while others would work well as part of a bigger basket — you know, if you wish to achieve that shower-goer hero status.

  • via Newser

    Mom threatened with forced c-section

    Jennifer Goodall gave birth Friday after much drama

  • via Scary Mommy

    Me, through my children's eyes

    My kids snapped a pic of me on my phone and it changed how I see myself

  • Newser

    Boy, 8, carries disabled brother through triathlon

    6-year-old has rare brain condition

  • Newser

    Question gets boy, 4, banned from doughnut shop

    He wanted to know if woman was pregnant

  • GHK

    And the best state to raise kids in is...

    Did your state make the grade?

Loading...
buzzing now on msn living
Loading...
follow us
follow us follow us on facebook follow us on pinterest follow us on twitter
family videos