Save Me Sophie: Snapchat Shenanigans

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Welcome to “Save me Sophie,” the perfect place to get quality advice and the answers to all of your questions.

Dear Sophie,

My 11 year old son recently asked me if he could make a Snapchat profile and I honestly don’t know what to do. On one hand, he’s always been relatively responsible and already has an iPhone which he uses to text and call his friends. But I’ve also heard so many awful stories about social media, specifically snapchat. It scares me that everything he sends just disappears! There’s no way for me to see what he’s doing or who he’s talking to. Am I being a helicopter parent or are my concerns justified? Please help!

Sincerely,

Lindsey

Dear Lindsey,

Hmm, this one is quite tricky! I know this may be scary for you. Snapchat is well known for some…suspicious things, but your son is getting older now and he is probably feeling left out.

In this day and age, Snapchat and other forms of social media are kids’ main way of communicating. Remember all those landline calls to your friends in high school? Imagine not being able to do that. It would suck! I think your son just wants to feel included with his friends and be able to communicate with them like other kids.

The fact of the matter is, your son is probably going to download the app whether you let him or not. One way to approach this situation is by using it to teach your son a lesson about responsibility. By letting him download the app, you can allow him to learn from his own mistakes and become a responsible internet user.

If you’re not ready to take that leap, you could put restrictions on his phone usage. Try turning off the WiFi at a certain time or make him put his phone downstairs before bed. It sounds like you trust your son, so I say choose your battles. Letting him have the app will actually allow you to keep a better eye on his internet usage while avoiding a big fight, whereas denying him access to the app may lead to a fight and him going behind your back.

Don’t worry girl, you got this!

Sophie

(To ask Sophie for advice, email savemesoph@gmail.com)

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