The following is an installment in a weekly series of commentary articles by Cameron Arcand, founder of the conservative commentary website Young Not Stupid and a contributor to The Western Journal.
After nearly five years with the app, I recently made the decision to delete my Snapchat account.
Every social media platform has its benefits and downsides, and Snapchat is no different for Generation Z, as Facebook is to Baby Boomers.
My decision to leave the app was fueled by my personal decreased usage, along with the irritating leftist drivel that pollutes Snapchat’s “Discover” page.
One thing that always stuck out to me, however, was how careless the platform was with advertising.
As a minor, I would be bombarded with promotions for Planned Parenthood and even Trojan condoms, two things that an impressionable high schooler is likely aware of but should not be engaging with.
Unfortunately, the encouragement of degenerate culture is only one facet of Snapchat.
A recent incident involving 16-year-old Sammy Chapman only confirms the carelessness of Snapchat and other social media apps, and many parents are calling for an option to have more oversight of their children’s actions on the platform.
Sammy died of a drug overdose with drugs that he purchased over the app, and his parents are sounding the alarm for families around the globe in a recent interview with Dana Perino on Fox News this past Friday.
“Thousands of children are being exposed not only to drugs and drug dealers who are preying on them, but, you know, prostitution and pornography and all kinds of horrific content,” Dr. Laura Berman said.
“It really is like the dark web for kids right now,” she continued.
“Snapchat by its very nature is a child predator’s dream. Its auto-delete feature allows individuals to ensure their pictures and videos erase themselves after only a few seconds,” Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn warned back in 2019.
“Its public location-sharing feature allows anyone — even underage children — to share their location in real time. If left in public mode, the “Snap Map” will reveal their location and their Snap video feed to complete strangers,” she added. “Even if an underage user hasn’t fallen prey, they’re still exposed to provocative and age-inappropriate material via the app’s “Discover” feature — recommendations generated by Snapchat itself, free from parental control or monitoring.”
Typically parents do not need to police their kid’s social media activity extremely closely, but Snapchat, in particular, is certainly one of the riskier social media services at their disposal.
Plenty of parents make their teen’s aware of cyberbullying and what not to do online, except many parents are unaware of how predatory behavior is often subtle in the digital age.
For those with young teens, the best thing to do is either wait until they older to give permission for them to use these platforms, or vet them out before letting them create a profile.
The internet is an amazing, yet horrifying place, and America’s youth are on the frontlines of this relatively new frontier.
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