Snapchat announced a new group chat feature just in time for the holidays. Groups allows up to 16 friends to communicate on a chat. Separate, 1 on 1 chats can occur simultaneously by tapping a group member’s name on the bottom of a group chat. Returning to Groups is as simple as a swipe.
I’m not an avid Snapchat user, and nor is my daughter, but many of her friends are on Snapchat. In case she gets called into group chats with the release of this new feature, I want to have a conversation about how it works.
Conversations about new technology can provide interesting ways to keep up with the trends. This way, my daughter knows I’m aware of the new feature, and we have an open communication channel for learning how to use it best.
Here are some topic ideas for talking with teens about Snapchat Groups:
- Can you show me how to use this new feature?
- What do you like about it?
- Do you have any concerns about group chat?
- Do you communicate the same thing to a group that you would in a 1 on 1 conversation?
- What would happen if you thought you were talking 1 on 1, but the message instead went to the whole group?
- How can you navigate carefully to make sure you know where your message is being sent?
- Even if the group chat is deleted after 24 hours, how many people might have saved a portion of it? How is this possible?
- How many times per day or week do you check Snapchat? Do you think Groups will impact this frequency, either more or less?
These are merely some ideas for starting points. It’s not always possible for every parent to know every feature of every app on a consistent basis. What is possible, is to care consistently about how are kids are managing themselves online – and then talk about it!
Read the Snapchat app review from Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media has a thorough Snapchat review covering how Snapchat works, potential parental concerns, user reviews, and more talking points for families. Dig in at Common Sense Media, or watch the video if you’d prefer a visual summary.
Happy chatting, and happy holidays!