Why it’s popular: Snapchat’s creators intended the app’s fleeting images to be a way for teens to share fun, light moments without the risk of having them go public. And that’s what most teens use it for: sending goofy or embarrassing photos to one another. Snapchats also seem to send and load much “faster” than email or text.
What parents need to know:
- Many schools have yet to block it, which is one reason why teens like it so much (Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2013).
- It’s a myth that Snapchats go away forever. Data is data: Whenever an image is sent, it never truly goes away. (For example, the person on the receiving end can take a screenshot of the image before it disappears.) Snapchats can even be recovered.
- It can make sexting seem OK. The seemingly risk-free messaging might encourage users to share pictures containing inappropriate content.