Oy vey. I didn't think Snap Chat could get any more addictive for teens, but along comes snap streak. So here it is in a nutshell:. Two teens agree to snap streak. This commits them to snap each other everyday, no excuses accepted. If terms are agreed upon, a flame emoji pops up next to their snaps to each other, along with the number of days they have been on the streak. This means our relationship is Hot! Hot! Hot!If you think your teen just chooses one special friend to do this with...oh no you would be wrong, they may go in on a streak partnership with any number of their "closest" friends!!! This means they have to do a constant check of who is snapping and making sure they are snapping back. What they snap is of no consequence. Could be a blank wall. it's not what they snap, but that they just do it. Such a great use of their time!! I have heard from parents that if kids go to summer camp or on family vacations or go to some event where phones are not allowed, or if they get punished and have their phone taken away, the teen will either hand their phone off to a friend as a kind of "snap au pair" or find some other alternative method of continuing all their streaks. YES it seems to be that important to them!!
You know who is loving this...the advertisers on snap chat and the company behind snap chat.. This was not developed as some wonderful communication tool, no, it's about money...pure and simple.
They are using your kids!! Do you hear the anger in my voice. I am raging!!! I hate to see kids used this way, unsuspectingly getting addicted to something that in their eyes becomes the most important thing ever, only to line some already rich techies pockets with money!!!
OK Joani, calm down, take a deep breath, we'll figure something out!!! First if you have younger kids who are just starting out on phones/ipads etc. DO NOT LET THEM DOWNLOAD SNAPCHAT!!!! I'm talking 10-12 year olds. They may be mad, they may feel that you are the meanest parent ever, but so be it!!! You are doing the right thing. Staving off snap chat addiction is imperative. If you have older teens, 12-16 limit the amount they can be on snapchat. You can do this by downloading a parental control like net nanny, net sanity, qustodio, teen safe to name a few. Using this software you can program your teen's devices, to limit specific app usage. Time and opportunity and what you allow you kids to download are your power. USE IT!!
Here''s how a conversation might go: "Hey I just heard about snap streaking. (said in a nonjudgmental, I am really interested in hearing what this is voice) Tell me about it. So who are you streaking with? Can you show me how it works? Doesn't it make you crazy, trying to keep up with all this, god it would make me a lunatic. How come it feels so important? What would it feel like if you broke a streak or someone broke a streak with you?"
See what I did there? I want them to want to talk to you about it, by keeping it calm, and supportive and showing that you are really interested in finding out what this is. If you go a more traditional, this is a ridiculous waste of your time route, you run the risk of them totally shutting down. As soon as they hear judgment, and criticism in your voice, the conversation will be over.
You are not giving them carte blanche or permission to go crazy with their snap streak. You are understanding how important they feel this is in their life, and you certainly will give them the opportunity to participate, but not without some time limits. The only way you will be able to set those limits is with some sort of parental control.
I'm so sorry this technology thing is so hard. And it is. It seems just when you think you've got things under control with the tech stuff, these companies throw out something newer and shinier. Below is an article I think is really useful in understanding the immensity of this new option for your teen.
Hang in there, eventually they will grow up and you won't have to deal with this s**t anymore!
Why not share this with some friends!! I think they will thank you!!