Learn Teen Snapchat Tips from 4 High School Students

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March 14, 2016

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This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!


Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

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Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.


Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

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This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.


Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

Table of Contents

Learn Teen Snapchat Tips from 4 High School Students an Expert Guest Blog SmartSocial.com

Snapchat is an extremely popular app among teenagers. So, we asked four high schoolers about how they use the app and their tips for others to stay safe and have fun.

Learn why teens love that parents can't monitor Snapchat messages, the negative consequences of teens using Snapchat and find out if teens are "screenshotting" Snapchat content.

Josh Ochs, Moderator, Media Leaders - Alise K., High School Student - Jessica H., High School Student - Lauren E., High School Student - Rebecca M., High School Student

Snapchat key takeaways from teens

  1. A great way to get people’s Snapchat usernames is to look at their Instagram bio.
  3. Brands: be sure to include your Snapchat username in your bios.
  4. Snapchat brings people together from other cities by sharing short snippets of content easily.
  5. Unlike what most parents think, it isn’t selfish to post pictures of yourself at an event.  It lets others experience the event with you.
  6. Tip: Take a cool photo with the Snapchat app, download it to the phone, then wait a while and think about which app it is a better fit for. If it is appropriate for Snapchat (more casual) or Instagram (more notable) you will have the photo ready in both apps.
  7. Captions on Snapchat tend to be more literal, while on Instagram, they are more meaningful.
  8. Screenshotting isn’t a big deal on Snapchat since you typically trust those whom you are friends with on Snapchat.
  9. Students like that companies are creating great filters and they don't mind that they are advertisements.
  10. You have to trust the person who you are sending Snaps.
  11. We all want to know what is going on and Snapchat helps us stay updated on what our friends are doing.
  12. We all want to feel special so don’t send mass private Snaps to people, because we will talk to each other.

Is there anything about Snapchat that makes you uncomfortable?

Snapchat does store all of your photos, even though you can’t access them after they expire on the app.  This is noted in the Snapchat privacy policy. - Alise K.

Have you heard of any unplanned consequences of using Snapchat?

My example is one that I saw on another social media channel.  A wife sent her husband a picture of herself but did not notice her “boyfriend’s” boots were in the background of the photo. - Lauren E.

In Colorado, a teen took a Snap of the hallway at school and captioned it “planning the school shooting today.”  He posted it to his Snap Story and a girl from another state took a screenshot and let her local police know, who then contacted the police in the boy’s town.  He was taken out of school and questioned, and although it turned out to be a joke, it didn’t take long for many people to be aware of the situation.  (Editorial note: the school was actually in Phoenix, AZ, and the teen who reported it was in Colorado.  (More here.) - Rebecca M.

How are students getting around parental supervision by using Snapchat?

I know of a student whose parents monitor every text and email message as well as keeping passwords to all of her accounts.  Although this student is not doing anything that she needs to hide, she and all of her friends use Snapchat chat feature for messaging, because the messages go away in a matter of seconds. - Rebecca M.An advantage to using the Snapchat chat function is that your messaging is available even if you do not have cell coverage.  If you have wifi, you will receive your Snapchat messages. - Jessica H.

What is the coolest Snapchat that you have ever seen or received?

I have a friend who has created a weekly Snapchat story with video of herself doing workouts with her pet. - Alise K.I surf and have a friend who has a waterproof case and occasionally brings her phone out and Snaps some amazing footage. - Rebecca M.

My favorite thing is when events are on Snapchat. Recently New York Fashion Week had a bubble, and I watched the Snaps. Since you get the view that the spectators are seeing, Snapchat coverage is often better than TV coverage. - Jessica H.

I recently saw a compilation of Snapchats from Korea. It was great to see a different place.  I personally like to Snapchat pictures of my brother singing, in the shower, in the car. - Lauren E.

I also enjoy seeing Snapchat from other cultures because you really see how people are. - Rebecca M.

There is a perspective difference between my parents and myself in terms of Snapchat.  My parents think that me taking pictures of myself, or my activities and sharing them with my community is a form of bragging.  My friends and I don’t see it that way.  We see it as a way to share our experiences with our friends, which makes using Snapchat a generous activity. - Jessica H.

Snapchat can be less of a commitment to conversation since there are limited number of words that you can send. - Lauren E.

Are a lot of your friends “screenshotting” your Snapchats? Or have we gotten past that?

Snapchat does show us when one of our friends screenshots something of ours.  You wouldn’t screenshot something unless you know that person.  There is a trust factor if you are Snapping someone a really ugly photo of yourself.  I don’t perceive screenshotting as a big problem. - Alise K.

Typically you would not connect with someone on Snapchat unless you had that trust factor already. - Lauren E.

I am aware that Snapchat has a glitch that sometimes notifies someone that you have screenshotted their Snap when you haven’t.  There is an unspoken rule that you don’t screenshot an ugly picture of someone. - Rebecca M.

In one of my classes last week, the teacher decided to share the homework answers via her SnapStory, rather than emailing or messaging it out.  Then, each student went to her story and screenshotted the answers.  It was very efficient. - Jessica H.

How important is the whole “disappearance” feature of Snapchat to you?

I think that the impermanence of Snapchat allows people to feel more free to reveal who they really are, as opposed to a more polished view of yourself that you may add to other social media. - Alise K.

Also, if someone shares something with you that doesn’t appeal to you, you can just exit out of and it will not remain in your feed or on your phone. - Jessica H.We value Snapchat because it allows us to see a side of people, both our friends as well as famous people, that we would not have been able to see before.  The idea of the Snap disappearing enabled that to happen.  “A day in the life of…” is really cool. - Rebecca M.

Although Snapchat certainly isn’t a substitute for the news, it is a way to see a little bit of what is happening in the world, from an individual perspective. - Lauren E.I love the news bubbles that are on Snapchat now, especially the ESPN bubble.  You can get a quick 10 second idea of what is going on in sports each day.  It is much more concise than news websites, and you can click through to read more. - Jessica H.

The “disappearing” feature of Snapchat is a huge factor for us.  We understand that our messages and photos are probably accessible by Snapchat, we also know that it is unlikely that our content will ever resurface, and that is important to us. - Rebecca M.

Don’t be stupid with it.  Recognize that you are publicly posting when you use Snapchat, even if it is temporary.  Do not pose with illegal substances. Just be smart. - Jessica H.

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