I’ll admit that it’s a bit ridiculous to have a 45 year old mother of three writing a blog post about Snapchat. I’m definitely not their target audience and I’m barely literate in the app. I can use a filter and send a dumb photo of myself to one of my children. Beyond that, I have to ask my 15 year old how to do anything remotely complicated. She loves it when I ask. It makes her feel knowledgeable and connected to me. Just kidding.
My daughter uses Snapchat almost exclusively to communicate with her friends and I love it. Unlike other forms of social media, on Snapchat my daughter can BE HERSELF. She doesn’t have to curate her look, facetune out imperfections, or worry about someone finding the unflattering picture later. Instead, she can shoot her friends a picture of herself rolling her eyes at her mom because she asked for the 5th time how to add text to a snap, or an annoyed selfie in the car when her younger sister won’t stop talking.
So many of my fellow parents bemoan social media and are convinced it will be the downfall of civilization. To be fair, there are terrible things about social media; cyber bullying, russian bots, incels, the President of the United States. But there are lovely things about social media too, like hilarious tweet compilations and Chrissy Teigen and We Rate Dogs.
I think my daughter’s use of Snapchat is lovely too. It gives her an outlet for her teenage angst that is relatively safe and private. Does she waste time she could be using to do homework? Of course. But no more than I wasted cutting out posters of Ricky Schroder from Tiger Beat. Let’s be honest, which one is worse?
(Aileen here, Ricky Schroder was worse.)