Do you know what your kids are doing online…I mean…REALLY know what your kids are doing online?

‘Cause I don’t.

I mean…I try. I’ve an IT background so I’m not at a complete loss when it comes to new technology but the fact is, it’s faster than me. I can’t keep up!

Adults…we get used to a piece of software or an application that we like…and we stick with it. We’re happy there. Comfortable there. We still like Facebook while the kids have moved on. (They’re hanging out on Twitter!)

Kids…they switch to the next new thing and they’re in and out of a program before we even knew it existed.

Do you know about Snapchat?

I fully admit, I get a kick out of the program. It’s messaging but with pictures…mostly selfies. The kids LOVE it…they’re using it on their SmartPhones if they have a data plan but if not, they use their iPods with wifi and it doesn’t cost a thing.

Here’s the premise… You take a picture, send it to your friend (or multiple friends) who follow you, you put a “time limit” from 1 to 10 seconds, your friend then receives the photo, they hold down the screen for the time period you determined to view your photo and then “poof” it’s gone.

Usually, kids then send back a “response”…again, by way of a photo. You can add text or draw on the pictures…and you can even send videos but you can’t SAVE what’s received before it disappears.

Well…you CAN if you do a “screen shot” but the other person is notified and to be honest…it’s an absolute NO-NO among users…like breaking some Snapchat Code! (Plus, I can’t seem to hold down the screen for the one to ten seconds while also coordinating pressing the circle iPhone button and the Power Button all at the same time!)

The disappeared photos…they’re out there somewhere. All three thousand that were sent from Spiderman’s phone last month…7,000 if you include the ones he received! He’s part of the 150 million photos PER DAY that were sent in April! In fact, while writing this post, he’s already sent me two!

As a parent…you can’t check what the kids are up to like you can with Twitter or Facebook…the photos are gone! You can see who they’re sending to, when they’re Delivered and when they’re Opened…but the “message” itself is gone.

Snapchat “rules” say you have to be over 13 to use their product. Kids between the age of 13-17 are supposed to ask for permission before downloading the application. If you’ve downloaded Snapchat you can receive images from people on your Friend List or from people who have your phone number. However, for privacy sake, you can set your account to ONLY receive pictures from people on your Friend List. Snapchat rules also explain that you should never send sexually explicit content…outlining the rules and regulations of the law in a very clear manner…and they encourage parents to speak to their children about being good “Digital Citizens.”

But…where are these photos? And who owns them? Snapchat owns them. At some point the photo arrived on Snapchat’s servers and were captured before being sent to the receiver. Really…it’s like anything else in this world…it’s out there. And just like Instagram and Facebook…you don’t own your images.

The part I worry about…is sending something inappropriate…or recieving something inappropriate. But to be honest, from what I’ve seen, Snapchat just seems like a big old game. A whole lot of foolishness where kids are sending each other their embarrassing moments…spinach between their teeth or a ridiculous hairdo. It’s about getting a laugh out of your friend on the other side of the message…and waiting for that friend to respond.

I’m on Snapchat…and quite enjoy the foolishness among my friends. With Spiderman and Bones…it’s another way to add some goofiness to our days! But I guarantee you, just as I get comfortable with this application…they’ll be on to the next thing.

And I’ll be catching up again!

5 Replies to “Snapchat…”

  1. It’s like putting a puzzle together….you’re following their conversation and then all of a sudden a big gap and then it continues again.

  2. I’ve got to get this, although I’m a bit scared of what I’ll send people, LOL since finding this hashtag #fartchat …

  3. I just heard a story about SnapChat on CBC Radio’s tech show, Spark. The photo is not “gone”, it is, in fact, accessible by the receiver, who, by following some fairly simple Internet instructions, can retrieve it and save it on their mobile device.

  4. I took my iPhone to Walmart and used their kiosk to download and print some pictures. To my surprise, every picture I took and every picture I received on Snap Chat was there, available for me to print. They don’t really disappear after all. Scary

    • NO WAY!!! Now I’m bringing my iPhone to Walmart…there’s a few good snaps in there I wouldn’t mind keeping! That’s unbelievable!