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​Just A Dad Trying To Understand His Teen's Snapchat Obsession

Snapchat is a huge platform for teenagers and young adults. While Facebook still has a larger number of users, it is widely considered by today’s youth as the “old person’s social network”… Facebook is the social media equivalent of wearing that Christmas sweater your grandmother gave you, while Snapchat is where young people actually congregate to speak to one another, away from prying eyes of family.

Just look at the numbers:

  • 187 million users are on Snapchat daily
  • 3.5 billion snaps are posted every single day
  • Snapchat streaks are becoming increasingly important for online social interaction

The last one I found out because of my teenage daughter. She is a Snapchat fiend and spends a rather large chunk of the day on this social media platform. She posts snaps when she is alone, in between classes, out with friends, out with family. She seems to be continuously updating her social group about her goings-on daily.

Some of this is concerning to me. Social media use can have an impact on a young person’s self-esteem, as well as keep them from engaging in the moment. Could social media time be keeping my daughter from really connecting with the people and world around her?

Teens And Their Constant Social Media Use

Teenagers spend the majority of their day around electronics. The most common of these is their mobile phone which is a constant temptation. This used to bother me a lot more than it does now. But I’ve slowly become used to seeing them with their phones and have probably been jaded by their daily interactions with technology and social media. If I had a smartphone at their age, I fear I may have gotten into more trouble with it. Which then led me to assume my kids would do the same. I no longer feel like that is the case.

We May Not Have to Be So Afraid Of Social Media

I look at my daughter’s grades, at her snaps to her friends, at how she acts while out in public or the things she enjoys doing in her free time. The truth is that she is more well-adjusted and connected than I was at that age.

What has changed is the perspective of modern teenagers. My daughter could stand to cut out some of her Snapchat time (and indeed, this is a resolution she and I came up with together, one that involves spending less time on the phone for both of us).

But all in all, I have stepped back and realised that my wife and I have raised a healthy, normal, happy young woman entering rapidly into adulthood. Snapchat is only a tiny part of the equation. Maybe we don’t need to worry so much about the amount of time our teens are spending on their phones? Though their social connections are much different than when I was a teenager, we can rest easy knowing that they are socialising in their own way – the millennial way.

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Tyler enjoys going to the mountains near his home in Draper, Utah to connect with his wife and children through camping, hiking, and quality time together. When he isn’t rebooting in the outdoors, he shares his fatherly experiences with the world through writing and creative work. Tyler shares the ups and downs of family life and the solutions he’s found through lengthy research and involvement in the industry and his own experiences to help parents everywhere.

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