Social Apps – Facebook, Instagram & Snapchat

A Parents Guide to Instagram.pdf (PDF)
A Parents Guide to Snapchat.pdf (PDF)
A Parents Guide to Facebook.pdf (PDF)

Social networking has become a hobby for even the youngest of children.  Websites such as Facebook have quickly become the go to option for kids when they are bored or when they want to catch up with what is going on with their friends.

Regardless of the guidelines set forth by Facebook website, children find ways to gain access to the website with or without their parent’s permission.  Parents must be sure that safety issues are addressed and that children are putting forth effort as well.

While Instagram is hugely popular among tweens and even many elementary age kids, and many use it without incident, there are issues and parents absolutely need to be aware and informed. Aside from the stated age requirement of 13, parents must know about privacy, cyberbullying, and content concerns about Instagram.

What's the age requirement?

Like most other social networking sites, Instragram requires users to be age 13 or older per its Terms of Use. You can report an underage user here and find instructions for how parents can delete an account here.

A popular app among children these days. It’s an Android and iOS app that allows users to capture and send photos and short videos that self-destruct after a certain amount of time.

When users send a message, they get to decide how long it will live (between one and 10 seconds) on the receiver’s device. After that, it’s history… or so the sender thinks.

As a parent, know that technology changes and apps and services come and go. But the basic principles of privacy, security and safety don’t change. Kids should be aware that there are consequences to their online actions and that anything that’s digital can be stored, copied and shared, even if you intend to only share it privately. Chances are your kid is using Snapchat for innocent fun, but it never hurts to calmly impart a little adult wisdom.