Snapchat thoughts by Keith Dunn, KDCOP

January 4, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Posted in bullying, child, children, Cyberbullying | Leave a comment

WOW!  The Snapchat App is an amazing chance to send photos and videos to
your friends and family.  It even allows you to set a timer, up to 10
seconds, so that the photos and videos can only be seen for that length of time.

This app is another way of bring the world closer together, faster.  My terminology for this is the” instant gratification generation”.  I am not only talking about our kids
using these apps, but young adults up to middle age people wanting to be
instantly accessible.

It seems like more and more  applications are popping up online that allow our society to share what is going on with one anther immediately.

Snapchat is a really cool way for everyone to somewhat safely share images
or videos instantly.

Although the Snapchat app is “Very Cool”,  it comes with its drawbacks, especially to children under the age of 18.  Unfortunately, the over 800,000 students that I have spoken to all tell me the same thing; Our youth of today are using this technology in a “not so appropriate way”.

I get hundreds of e-mail’s from students telling me stories about sexting, chat
roulette, ooVoo, instagram and now Snapchat, where they have one or more
friends who are sending inappropriate images to one another.

I would love to sit back and say that 3rd-12th graders are not mis-using these applications, but I can not.

Almost 1 million audience members that I stand in front of are all the same.
Whether from South Dakota, Florida, California or Louisiana, they use
technology appropriately for a short time and then LOVE to stretch the
boundaries of wrong and right.

I can not fault them however, it wasn’t long ago when we all tested the waters and did things that we were really not supposed to do.  It is technology that is moving so fast and the only people able to keep up with that technology are our students.

If you think I am being cynical or going a little beyond the truth, just
understand that I receive phone calls from elementary school counselors
asking what to do since their 3rd graders have snap chatted an inappropriate
image of themselves then the other 3rd grader saved the image on their
IPhone.

Please don’t ask me why a 3rd grader has an IPhone, especially with
that capability, that is entirely another story.

A 5th grade boy at my last assembly told me that he started using Snapchat, Instagram, ooVoo and other social networking tools when all of a sudden he was being made fun of so much that he said “I was going to kill myself last night, but after talking to you, I know I have more to live for.”

Please don’t feel as if I hate these apps or am saying that they are used in
an inappropriate way by every student.  The majority of students are just
having fun posting silly videos and silly photos for a few seconds and
talking back and forth having fun.

The majority of our students in America are good intentioned, hard working kids.

Just remember, as parents that your child could get inadvertently caught up in, or be party to, or at least know someone that is using this application in ways that it was not intended to be used.

Snapchat was made to be a quick, fun way to share the lives of one another
in an instant and then let the user just move on to their next big event.
They live moment by moment, second by second.  We as adults need to be
aware of that and have an open line of communication so that when, or if,
our child begins to get caught up in using technology the wrong way, that
they will have the courage to come and talked to us immediately about what
is going on.

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