I'm nearly 40 and I have three kids between the ages of 5-9. And I love Snapchat.
I also have a best friend who is 20 years younger than me. We pretty much have the same taste in music, TV and movies but grew up in different generations. She taught me what bae meant (although it still confuses me) and I introduced her to Friends (she watched all 10 seasons in a couple of months time). She was also the one who got me to download Snapchat nearly 2 years ago when she left for college. I was hesitant at first since I only heard how dangerous it was for kids because of sharing inappropriate content.
Here are a few basics about Snapchat for those who aren't familiar with the app. You can send a snap to any of your contacts. Your snap can be a picture, a picture with text, text alone or video. There are a couple of filters and options for videos like slow motion or fast speed. Snaps disappear after they've been opened unless the recipient replays it or takes a screenshot. You'll get a notification if someone replays or takes a screen shot of your snap. You can also publish snaps to "my story". Stories are visible for 24 hours and can be seen by those following you.
Now, please don't misunderstand me, I am not endorsing letting your kids use Snapchat. I don't discount that Snapchat has been used inappropriately by individuals but I also believe that understanding how this app works enables me to teach my kids how to properly use it (if they wanted to use is it when they are old enough and it is still around). I also completely respect a parent's decision NOT to let their kids use Snapchat. But, I admit, I love using Snapchat and here are 10 reasons why:
- No More Memory: I have a hard enough time managing the loads of photos and videos on my phone before needing to purge it to free up memory space. I love that Snapchat doesn't save items to your memory, especially when it's just video of my girls singing Adele at the top of their lungs.
- Wait, I Want That Memory: In the event that the video of my girls singing Adele at the top of their lungs is especially cute, I can save it. If I've published it to my story, I can view it as many times as I want during the 24 hours and if I decide it's a keeper after all, I can download it. The same goes for photos.
- Family Bonding: I get to see nieces and nephews all the time because their parents are on Snapchat. Pictures of crazy hair day, videos of daddy-daughter dates, latest art projects, etc. Plus my kids can send a video singing happy birthday to their cousin. I snap with my sister-in-law all the time but before Snapchat we only occasionally talked. I can send my husband snaps of our kids all day so he gets a glimpse of what we're doing. It's so easy and fast to send through Snapchat.
- Kids These Days: I have a niece and nephew in high school and a few youth that I worked with in church around the same age who are Snapchat regulars. I like that I can communicate with them through Snapchat. Otherwise, I don't think we would. Facebook and Instagram is not where they're at.
- Non-Committal Relationships: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter - they all have likes and loves and feedback is expected. Sometimes it's so time-consuming liking and responding to stuff on social media. Snapchat is awesome because you can just put it out there or send it to someone and not worry about likes or comments. It's liberating not expecting a whole lot of interaction.
- Creative Storytelling: I have to admit, I feel like I can be especially funny on Snapchat. Pictures with captions can be super funny. Isn't that why we love memes so much? Once you stack a few snaps, you've got yourself a funny story with captions and pictures. You too, can be hilarious to a small, select audience of your choosing.
- Passive Aggressive Much?: I keep it pretty safe and happy on social media. But guess what? If someone pisses me off, you bet I'm going to send a photo of myself with an angry face and accompanying captions or drawings to my husband or best friend. It feels good to vent. It feels great to vent with funny captions. I send it to a couple people and it's gone forever, just like my angst.
- The Joy of Snapping: My snap of ducks swimming in reverse is hilarious. So is that sweatshirt I saw that said "Fitch" but the typography made it look like the F-bomb. And that parking lot with the arrows pointing traffic in the opposite direction with my snappy caption, "Uh, are the British coming?" These are the things I doubt I would document were it not for Snapchat. Pure and simple it's pretty dang funny and will make me and my friends laugh.
- Second Opinions: I send snaps all the time to my trusted advisors. What do you think of these shoes? Do you like this shirt? Should we buy this lamp? Does the guy working at Target look like Mark Ruffalo?
- Bragfest: I don't feel a bit guilty bragging about my kids on Snapchat. Yes, those are his grades. Look at that back walkover! And guess what, I don't mind bragging about myself either. Get ready for some pictures of all the baked goods. But don't worry, they won't stick around forever.
Love Snapchat? Who's with me?!?