Social media has become a centralized way of communication among the young and the old. I mean my 93 year old grandma has a Facebook and knows how to Facetime! That is just crazy to me! Seriously, what are they going to come up with next?! When it comes to our children, most of us go back and forth wondering if we should allow them cell phones and access to apps. Each child is different but here is my opinion when it comes to boys having a social media account such as Snapchat.
I think that with boys, we try to trust them a little more when it comes to the internet and social media. Girls, we want to put in a bubble and keep them from ever getting their feelings hurt or made fun of. When it comes to boys in elementary school, I think they should not have Snapchat. They just don’t need it. They should be outside playing with their trucks and bikes and playing basketball. They shouldn’t have time to worry about phones.
When did boys get into having a phone anyway? Phones used to be a girl thing and now everyone has to have one. In looking at a boy in middle school, you have to look at how much you trust him. I think that if you trust him, go ahead and let him download the app. Ask him why he wants to have it. See if he has a reasonable answer. If you are good friends with any of his friend’s parents, ask them if they are allowing their children to have it. It’s all about monitoring how he is using it.
You don’t want him interacting with people he shouldn’t be and being exposed to the sexual nature that this app can be used for. We tend to worry more about girls using Snapchat more so than boys because of the possibility of sexual predators trying to communicate with them. He is going to be curious about girls and so I’m sure there are ways for him to see things that he shouldn’t on there. Do you very best to monitor it.
You also don’t want him abusing anyone else, especially other girls on there. You don’t want him asking other girls to send him pictures that are deemed inappropriate. You don’t need any of that drama starting this early on! You’d be surprised at how young our children are starting off with exploring their sexuality. A lot of it is due to social media. Do your research on how the app works and the controls that you have.
You can edit the app where only his friends can see his pictures and contact him. Periodically ask to see his phone to look at whatever you need to. You can have a rule that you get his phone every night when it’s time to go to bed, so that he doesn’t have to watch you go through it. You want to give him as much privacy as you can but there has to be honesty and boundaries.