The Snapchat Issue No One Is Talking About

Edited By: Joy Jiang

 

As everyone on this planet has already heard, Snapchat released an update that 99.9% of users hate, vehemently. They hated it so much that a petition was created urging Snapchat to reverse the update and the layout of the app to the way it was when it made sense and functioned efficiently. 

Now, I could get into the many reasons why the current Snapchat update is and will always be awful, but there is another pressing issue that not enough people are talking about and it is one involving young Snapchat users. 

I have an 11-year-old sister and she has Snapchat. She is a very responsible social media user, if I do say so myself, so even though Snapchat's age range is set at 12+ on the App Store, my sister is mature enough to be using it. 

However, with the new update, there is a whole can of concerns that need to be addressed. 

If you have not already experienced the hell that is the new Snapchat update, you should know that the Discover page, the page that once held everyone's Snapchat stories along with a handful of publications which you could choose to subscribe to or not, has basically become a platform where content creators and publications are featured. As a Snapchat user, you can't control what pages and people pop up on this page and that is worrying and plain annoying. 

I find that it is pushy of Snapchat to dump a bucket of content onto my phone, most of which I neither asked for nor subscribed to. No, I do not want to see any of the Kardashians’ Snapchat stories. Nor do I want to see random YouTube vloggers talking about their daily lives. The new update feels intrusive and when you add 11 and 12-year-olds into the mix, things get more problematic. 

The fact that you cannot filter what accounts show up on your Discover page means that you could either end up viewing the Snapchat story of a vlogger like Khalid Al Ameri who mainly talks about how to live life and enjoy it to the maximum, or you could end up watching Kevin Hart use some very colourful language as he works out with his trainer. 

As I said, add young Snapchat users into this and you have a problem. 

Children begin to get exposed to content, language and behaviour that is not age appropriate or even appropriate at all. I say that because there are many content creators out there who produce videos for the sake of views or likes. Their actions are inappropriate, immature and we can look no further than Logan Paul to see this trend. 

And when Snapchat decides to turn their Discover page into an endless scroll of celebrities swearing, creators acting inappropriately and publications discussing the latest Hollywood scandals, easier access of the 'dark side' of social media is granted to young users. 

Now I am not saying that all vloggers, all celebrities and all publications are bad. I am speaking from my personal experience and it is one that makes me worry that young Snapchat users could be influenced in a negative way by the people and pages they come across on the Discover page, especially since it seems to be endless. Just as you think you've scrolled to the bottom, nope, an entirely new batch of Snapchat stories appear, most of which feature people and topics that I do not care about. And if I don't care about it, why on earth is an 11 or 12-year-old going to? 

Ideally, I would love for my sister and every other young user out there to be exposed to content that will help them grow as people and help enhance their minds. However, the latest update makes that hard as there is no control over what pops up on your Discover page. 

With that said, the most Snapchat has done to deal with this issue is giving users the option of removing pages and people by clicking the option ‘See less like this’. This certainly does not eliminate the issue of inappropriate content being available to young Snapchat users, however it does mean that you can remove one story from your Discover page. 

Other solutions for parents or guardians include: 

Not updating the app. Its a short term solution but it is one that works. Avoid updating your child's app for as long as possible so that you won't have to deal with this issue. 

Switching your child over from Snapchat to Snapkidz. The latter app allows children to take pictures and draw doodles on them however they cant send them to anyone which kind of defeats the purpose of the app in the first place. 

Teaching your child how to dismiss certain pages and people. Show them how inappropriate content can be removed from their Discover page. 

Report pages and people with inappropriate content, whether it's from your child’s Snapchat account or yours. 

 

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