My mum sent me a video of the young girl talking to her parents about the recent snapchat update. Before then, I hadn’t paid much attention to the safety risks associated with the update but that video set me thinking.
For those who might not be familiar with Snapchat, it’s a social media platform that has over 166 million users daily (just to put in context how popular it is). The way snapchat works is you basically upload pictures / videos of any and everything and usually only your friends should be able to watch if your account is restricted. However, if your account is unrestricted, anyone who adds you can watch your story. It is a very addictive social media platform. In fact, it’s almost an “abomination” to go out for a meal and not “snapchat” your food.
Recently, snapchat introduced an update called snapmap where people on your snapchat can see your exact location. Initially when this update came, I thought to myself, this is quite intrusive. So my friends can see where I am? I can easily stalk my friends and other people around the world? I didn’t feel comfortable with the idea and went on “ghost” mode so no one could see my location.
I personally think that it’s very important for us to talk about how unsafe this update is and ensure kids are aware of the potential risks. We really don’t know how many “Evans” are out there stalking and waiting to strike. In the video, the young girl talks about what happens if you see all your friends are at a party and you were not invited? Or your boyfriend lies to you about his location? It goes beyond safety and can go as far as affecting self-esteem or breaking up relationships. As much as the whole idea of the update was to bring friends closer, it has a lot more negatives than positives.
So what would I suggest?
- Have a very light hearted conversation with your children about this update. Try not to come across as trying to invade their social media space or control them but let them understand the risks involved.
- Suggest they go on “ghost” mode. It’s the only safe option with this update…keyword“suggest” (lol). Again, you don’t want to come across as invasive.
- Let them understand “stalking is not a cool thing” and it can become addictive.
- Please don’t tell them I told you about the update so they don’t see me as a traitor.
The digital space is constantly changing, becoming more explosive and dangerous. It’s important we get the right digital intelligence education, learn how to be responsible digital citizens and pass these skills on to those around us. One is never too old to learn more about the digital space and the importance of DQ! Anyway that’s my mums turf aka “DQ Ambassador” it would be helpful to talk to her about it.
I hope you’ve found this bit of information useful and thank you for reading up to this point.
Diekololaoluwa… Charity Babatunde’s first born.