This past Wednesday, Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat, announced his differentiating comment around “we are not ‘social media’ and we have a new redesign that is about best friends.” Parents, here is the straight up, low down on this: Don’t follow the shiny objects.
What is most humorous about these announcements by these CEO’s is the redirect. Straight out of a playbook from a political advisor, “hey, look over here, look at this bread crumb we are going to give you,” all the while the fundamental problem still exists: Snapchat was built as a sexting app, built by Spiegel to get his college classmates to send pictures of nudes. Full Stop. That is the foundation of this creation and that remains part of it’s environment.
Along with persistent requests for nudes from teenagers, it has also created a toxic fixation with streaks – requiring users to login every day, take a snap (often of just the floor), and send it to their friend in order to keep their streak. And don’t even get me started on the mapping features where it geo-tracks our kids! So mid-Saturday night when your child is at home, they can pull up Snapchat, look at the mapping feature and discover a) all the places their friends are and where they are not and b) any predator can track your kid down via Google streetview.
Instead of the lurking van of the 80’s that we were all taught to be afraid of, now we have Snapchat’s mapping feature and disappearing photos with a persistent ask for nudes. Parents, this post is going to be harsh but I must implore you to look beyond the shiny and look at Snapchat and platforms like it and the harm it causes.
Read the rest of Janice Taylor’s Huffington Post article here.