In case you don’t know Snapchat, it is the photo-sharing app that has gone from zero to 150 million pictures shared per day in under two years, largely because of its key feature – that pictures disappear in seconds after they are viewed. Because the pictures are “supposed to disappear”, it has become a favorite of those young people who are into sexting. In the case of teen users, Snapchat has been driving parents and school administrators crazy as pictures have predictably found their way onto the internet and the phones of unintended recipients.
Enter Clipchat, perhaps the first similarly functioning alternative. According to the PandoDaily article:
Clipchat’s interface is clean and more grown-up looking than its predecessor (not necessarily a good thing for this teenager-dominated market), and it mercifully has no purple. It also boasts a feature that lets users see blurred image previews. Once you press down on the image to get a clearer view, an animation takes effect to de-blur the image right before your eyes. While Snapchat prioritizes photo-sharing, Clipchat’s default is set to video.
Clipchat does trump Snapchat with one of its features – if a recipient tries to take a screen shot of the sender’s pic, the screen goes black to prevent it. Kudos, but there will probably a hack for that soon.
As a parent of a teen, it is yet another thing to worry about, but just because the options are increasing for your teen, what you can and should do about the situation remains the same:
Talk to your teen about the following:
- Sending pictures of nudity, illegal acts, other inappropriate content and harassing others is still wrong even if the picture self-destructs
- Pictures meant for one person, or meant to self-destruct, can still find their way into others’ hands or into the internet
- Once something is on the internet, you may not ever know about it. If you do know about it, internet content may stay there forever even if you try to have it removed
Check your kids’ phones. Take a look which apps are on there, and talk to them about how they are using them.
As a parent, you can’t stop every indiscretion. Communication and education are your best options to help your teen avoid the pitfalls out there.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.