Ever since its launch in July of 2011, Snapchat has quickly gained popularity amongst the younger generations with its feature of disappearing photos and videos that has revolutionized the way of connecting with friends. Sharing of photos and videos between friends has become much more convenient and time-saving and has partially negated the use of text messages. One major drawback that this application brings with its disappearing photos, videos and texts is that it gives an open window to cyberbullying. Cyberbullying through snapchat is easier because the victim is left with no proof. Messages, photos, and videos that disappear have no record and thus it is the chances of the bully getting away with it are very high. Parents of young children need to make sure they supervise the use of this application and have regular conversations with their children in order to ensure their safety and well-being since bullying of all sorts can be a matter of life and death if not dealt with promptly.
Besides snapchat, there are countless other applications with similar features that are being used all over the world. One of them is Wickr; an app very similar to snapchat with the feature of messages being “end-to-end encrypted” which makes the messages, pictures and videos disappear without leaving any proof of them being harmful or a source of bullying. Another app that is gaining popularity is Slingshot. This app lets users send customized pictures or videos to each other and is also potentially harmful to kids. Yovo is another similar application that allows a user to share vanishing messages. However, in addition to that, the developers have completely negated the feature of a screenshot, blurring the screen when the receiver of a message tries to capture one. With this “D-fence” feature, the use of this app leads to children being highly vulnerable to cyber abuse with absolutely no proof of the incident.
Another application that has many features similar to snapchat is Clipchat. Clipchat includes an additional feature of notifying the sender if the receiver of the message tries to capture a screenshot along with all other basic features of snapchat. Known for its feature of sending vanishing group messages, an app called Cyberdust makes the list as well. The ability to send more than one message at once allows bullies and online predators to reach a wider group of victims more conveniently, contributing to the already alarming issue.
Thus it is crucial for parents of young children and teenagers in today’s time to closely monitor the usage of such applications because bullying if ignored, can result in being life-threatening.
Family Orbit allows parents to monitor their kid’s activity online at all times and helps prevent irresponsible usage of potentially harmful apps or visiting inappropriate websites. Along with smartphones, Family Orbit can also be used to monitor iPad. With Family Orbit, you can stay close to your loved ones, learn the truth about every situation and always be there to help them if need be because children are vulnerable and sometimes they don’t know how to reach out for help.