Only connect.

A cache of all that is relevant to middle school counseling, adolescent development and parenting.

Latest Craze among Middle Schoolers: Snapchat!

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To many of us digital dinosaurs, there seems to be a new social media innovation every month…every week!

Most recently,  Snapchat is the latest app to hit the social media scene of seventh grade.

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 2.48.00 PM

Snapchat is a fun photo-sharing app which allows users to send a photo to one individual or to a group of friends.  What makes Snapchat unique compared to other photo-sharing platforms is the fact that the photo will only be visible to the recipient for 10 seconds before it disappears from the recipient’s device.  Or does it?

In our continual discussion regarding digital citizenship with our students, we remind them of the importance of their digital footprint and how it is essential to be vigilant of what they share online.  While Snapchat seems to offer a safe option for photo sharing as the photos “disappear”, we need to remind kids that once something is out there – it’s out there and can be saved by a simple screen shot.

Just last week, on November 14, 2013, in Quebec, Canada, ten boys aged 13 – 15 were arrested on child pornography charges.  They are accused of allegedly capturing and sharing explicit photos of teenage girls sent through Snapchat as screenshots.

While my intention is not to fear-monger, it is worth sharing this information with our teens as an example of how poor choices lead to difficult and dire consequences.

What can we do?  Talk to kids.  Ask them if they are using Snapchat, to what purpose and to whom?  Remind them of the importance of “thinking before you send”.  Do they really want a picture of them doing something silly, risky…or illegal to haunt them one day?

Again it’s a matter of a conversation.  To only connect!

Nancy A. Remondi

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Author: nremondi

Like many of my students, I am a Third Culture Kid - well, a Third Culture Big Kid. In my adult life, I have lived and worked as an middle school educator in Japan, Hong Kong, Jordan, England and the United Arab Emirates. In 2009, I returned to Hong Kong to take my first post as a middle school counselor where I have truly found my niche. My days are filled with opportunities to connect with students, colleagues and parents. I absolutely love my job. When not connecting with the school community, I enjoy all this great city has to offer - from its hiking trails and beaches to the crowded markets of Kowloon and the cosmopolitan chic of Central. My passions include travel, photography, service work, food, cinema, literature and the arts.

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