According to Pew Research Center, 69% of teens use Snapchat and 35% use it often. It is the favored social media platform among young adults today. However, as we have seen over recent years, the overuse of social media by kids and teens can have negative consequences. Among the many negative effects is Snapchat addiction.
What Is Snapchat Addiction?
Snapchat addiction is when a user is overly active on the platform and obsessed with it to the point it negatively impacts themselves and loved ones. They can share content through stories, public and direct snaps, and Snap Map. Addicts feel like they must be on the app in order to be seen, like by others, and to avoid FOMO (fear of missing out).
Snapchat even promotes this behavior by rewarding users who have a snap streak (sending snaps back and forth) with their friend for many consecutive days. And don’t forget about those face altering filters! It’s ultimately up to a child’s parents to make sure they don’t become addicted to Snapchat.
6 Ways To Help Stop Your Child’s Snapchat Addiction
– Monitor Their Snapchat Use
Instead of jumping to the punch by blocking or deleting your child’s Snapchat app, you should first monitor their Snapchat use. Utilize a Snapchat spy or parental control app to view their snaps. See what activities they do most on the platform, who they regularly talk with, and how much time they spend using the app. Knowing all of this will help you better create a plan of action at combating your child’s addiction.
– Delete Their Snapchat Account
If their addiction is out of hand, you may have to have them go cold turkey and stop using the app immediately. After deleting it, you and anyone else concerned should talk to your child about how Snapchat is negatively impacting them. They be mad at you for a time, but it’s for their own good.
– Limit or Block Their Snapchat App Use
If you don’t want to go all out with stopping your child’s Snapchat use, you may want to consider just limiting or blocking their use of the platform for some time. There are many built-in Android and iPhone parental control settings you can utilize to do this. On Android smartphones, you can manage their app use via the Google Play Store. On iPhones, you can utilize the “Screen Time” setting to restrict the amount of time they spend using Snapchat.
– Educate Your Child On The Dangers Of Social Media Use
After confronting your child, they may not understand initially why you limiting their Snapchat use. The best way to explain the situation to them is to educate them of the dangers of Snapchat and social media use. Then, further explain certain dangers and issues that apply to them. Some of the negative effects may include loss of attention span, FOMO, anxiety, depression, lack of sleep, concern about body image, and cyberbullying.
– Create A Cell Phone Use Contract
To get your child’s future Snapchat and cell phone use is control, create a cell phone contract that you both agree with. Some of the items you may want to mention include:
- How long they can spend on Snapchat and other social media apps per day.
- How much time they can spend on their phone and other tech devices per day.
- When they are not allowed to use their phone. Ex: Dinnertime or after bedtime.
- Agree that their app and phone use be monitored by the parent, until such time the child is acting responsibly.
- Cannot post content that they wouldn’t want their parents to see. Ex: Suggestive photos, hurtful comments.
– Have Them Take Up A New Hobby
Your child taking up a new hobby is a great and productive way to get their mind off of Snapchat. Have them take a dance class, learn a new language, or start reading a new book series. Just make sure to avoid hobbies that are technology-based.
If your child is addicted to using Snapchat, make sure to consider enacting some of the methods listed above. Help them understand that their world doesn’t revolve around Snapchat and other social media platforms. The best things in life are experienced when a person is offline.