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What is Snapchat?

Dec 2 by

I'm a fan of technology!  Anyone who knows me (or has heard me speak) knows I love tech.  I have a Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Vine, Tumblr, Instagram and even SnapChat account. 

These apps/accounts let me share, friend and connect with people I CHOOSE all over the world.  I am part of a large community on Tumblr where I talk about feeling like an awkward teen and how it gets better.  I tweet (occasionally) when I have something worth sharing and follow others on Twitter who inspire and entertain me.  I make Youtube videos the way I blog- trying to part of the information machine and I SnapChat silly faces to my kids when I've been away all day and I am missing them and feeling a bit silly. 

What is SnapChat you might be asking?  It's an app that lets you take a photo and after a few seconds it self-destructs.  Very Mission Impossible like... however it doesn't go away. 

Information flows in 2 directions, Companies and People.  Every g-mail we send is read and stored by Google, every Message is read and stored by Apple, every SnapChat is stored on the SnapChat server for an undetermined amount of time. 

Then there are the people.  The person you SnapChat the photo to may have an app called SnapSave (that automatically saves the received images), people take screen shots and sometimes the recipient may even use another device to grab a photo.

Here's the difference between what I am doing and what most teens are doing... I understand that the things I share are never private so I choose my words (and pics) accordingly.  It's not a digital footprint but a digital tattoo that we are creating for ourselves and that our children are creating for themselves. But truthfully- this is a really hard thing to get a kid with an under-developed frontal lobe (it's not fully functional until they are in their late 20s) to understand.  Their ability to use reason, logic and impulse control are still developing so when you add technology to the mix and an app that makes you believe there is no longevity you get a barrage of bad decisions!

Here's where the focus should be, "What is a sharable moment?" Talk to your children about what they choose to share, with whom they are sharing and why?  Make sure they understand that even if the picture self-destructs someone else can always capture the moment.

While they may not care about colleges or employers seeing it one day, how will they feel ten minutes after they send the pic and that person decides to share it with the world.

What do we want our digital tattoos to say about us?

Lori Getz's video on Snapchat: