As self-quarantining continues across the nation in the midst of COVID-19, teens are spending even more time using technology. Phones have gone beyond being the primary means of socialization for teens, they are now the only means of socialization for teens.
While there are a number of positive social media campaigns geared towards teens, some companies and social media platforms are taking advantage of the high volume of time spent on technology in negative ways. Recently, Teen Vogue published a story on Snapchat Discover encouraging and educating teens on how to sext as a way to sustain their relationship with a significant other while social distancing.
Not only is their content on Snapchat encouraging teens to exploit themselves by asking them to compromise boundaries, it is also opening the door to emotional and relational harm. Research has linked sexting and sexual coercion in female adolescents. Moreover, it makes teens more susceptible to being exploited via sexual extortion, abuse, and even trafficking.
Have a conversation with your teen about what they have seen on Snapchat and other social media platforms. Have they ever come across questionable content? Have their friends come across questionable content? Based on their feedback, ask your child's opinion on whether they should be using that particular social media platform. It may be time for your family to delete Snapchat.