Official Stalker Status…(or, How to use Snapchat to find your Kids!)

Helicopter much?

While lost in a sea of work and catching up on a few projects, Noah arrived with a few buddies and grabbed swim towels and my car so they could head to New Ross for an afternoon of fun at a friend’s cottage.

“Watch your speed,” I said as he headed out the door, to which he laughed and said “Oh no worries there,” while pointing at his friend. “Jason will freak if I speed up at all,” he continued.

“It’s true,” his buddy Jason said while laughing off the teasing…”I tend to obey the rules.”

“Have fun,” I said smiling at all of them as they walked out the door…knowing that summer is the perfect time to spend with your friends, jumping in the lake without a care in the world.

Funny enough, while Noah teased his buddy…I was a little comforted by the fact that Jason had that personality that would ensure some amount of control would be maintained in the car. Not that I really have to worry about Noah…he’s a great driver. It’s just, well, a car full of boys on a hot day heading out-of-town to spend an afternoon swimming at a cottage…kind of makes you worry a little as a mom. The excitement to get there, the loud music and the laughter in the car…puts you a little on guard.

I reminded myself that I need to have faith he’ll use his head…chasing him in my trusty helicopter seems a little bit excessive even for me!

I went back to work.

Not long after, a friend posted on Facebook about an accident on the 103 between exits 7&8…cars were backed up, avoid the area he suggested, he turned around.

My spidey senses tingled…timing was about right…or wrong, depending on how you looked at it.

I checked twitter to discover the Chester Fire Department had responded to an incident. Waited to see if anything else showed up. Texted Noah…without response. Phoned…still no response. Left a message. Checked twitter again. Panicked.

My brain…not quite letting my heart rest as a million things were running through my mind.

So, I did what every other mother in this situation would do…I checked the highway cams!

And did you know, there’s a camera in Hubbards and one in Bridgewater…but nothing around Chester? (Well, now we both know!!)

NO SERIOUSLY, WHAT WAS I TO DO?

Out of options and seriously considering phoning the Chester Fire Department, I sat there wondering why my son hadn’t accepted the “Find my Friends” request I’d sent a few months before! (Onnacounta he was afraid I might use it to stalk him!)

And that’s when it hit me. SNAPCHAT!!!

Just last week, Snapchat had released a brand new feature that showed where your friends were located on a world wide map and while my kids were getting a kick out of seeing who was where and what they were up to…I’d heard in “mom circles” on the internet that folks were nervous about oversharing and stalkers.

I’d deleted my application months ago from lack of use but went back in to re-load the app and luckily, remembered both my login AND my password. Then, after googling “how to load snapchat maps,” I opened the SNAP MAP and THERE HE WAS.

Standing in New Ross…in his fancy Hawaiian shirt…exactly where he’s supposed to be!

I breathed a sign of relief.

The thing is, I parked my helicopter LONG AGO but every now and then, I start-up the engines to check in on my kids just to allow my brain a bit of peace and sanity.

Today, snapchat provided the tool to let me relax.

I also awarded myself “Official Stalker Mom” status…but while I wear my new pin with a wee bit of shame, I’m also a little impressed with myself for getting my mind to rest AND was able to get back to work for the day!

And if you’re wondering…Noah did check in when he realized I was panicking…and reminded me the WiFi was sketchy at the cottage.

And…that accident on the highway, from my understanding, no serious injury was reported after a two-vehicle collision occurred this afternoon near Chester.

Social Media is awesome, and awful…and everything else in between. But it’s not going anywhere, and I’m maneuvering my helicopter through it the best way I can.

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How to turn on/off the new Snapchat feature, depending on what you’re looking to do!

  1. While in the camera view on Snapchat, pinch your screen as if you’re zooming out from the camera and then Snap Map will appear! (You must have the newest update of the app.)
  2. Your map with you Bitmoji will be on-screen as well as information and content about what’s happening in various places.
  3. By clicking on the settings mode in the upper right corner, you can choose to change to “Ghost Mode” so that no one see you, or choose to allow all of your friends or only some friends to see you.

Note: By default, Snapchat has you in Ghost Mode unless you turn the Snap Map on. So…don’t worry that people can see where you are or what you’re doing, unless you turn it on to show them…or there ends up being some glitch in the app at some point and everything is released to anyone anyway!

Snap Map allows you to see what’s going on in different places, discover what your friends are up to and stalk your children…I haven’t decided if it’s a good thing or not. But, this afternoon, worried about where my kid was..it was the best new feature around!

2 thoughts on “Official Stalker Status…(or, How to use Snapchat to find your Kids!)

  1. funny because while on the OC transpo to Ottawa downtown for Canada Day the 3 kids at the back of the bus were doing this t ofind their friends. They were looking where to get off the bus to meet up. I’m like “stalking?” they all laughed.

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