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Social networks – a guide for parents


Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat … Are you wondering what is the phenomenon of apps that most teenagers use? Perhaps you have never used them on your smartphone and you have no idea about them, but these social networks sites are more and more often every day for your child.

TikTokers, or who?

TikTok is an application that can be set up by people over 13 years of age. Users post their 15-second videos, which are designed similar to music videos. It is a place where young people, in addition to watching other people’s films, can also create their own content, expressing themselves and letting themselves be carried away by fantasy leaders. Recordings take various forms, such as:

  • Lips sync (a recording where the artist moves his lips to a piece of music, pretending to be singing),
  • Stand-up (funny, comedy clips),
  • Transition (created by assembling snippets from the smartphone’s front and rear cameras),
  • Challenge (a recording presenting short challenges undertaken by a larger group of users),
  • Tutorial (a short guide related to, for example, learning makeup),
  • Live, which disappears from the application as soon as the broadcast ends.

The application makes a sensation among a large group of recipients, mainly at the age of 13-15. It is available in 75 language versions and in 150 countries! Famous “TikTokers”, ie those who have made their way on the Internet thanks to their activity on this site, are constantly gaining in popularity. The platform also includes accounts of famous singers that TikTok allows to promote their music.

Take a picture and send it to your friends!

Snapchat is another mobile app that is used by many young users. Its operation is based on the exchange of snaps, i.e. photos or short videos, which, by default, disappear after one view. It is possible to display the received content once, but it is not possible to search for it again after a long time. Over the years, the application has introduced many changes, e.g.

  • Geotag overlays (placing your location in the photo),
  • Bitmoji (personalized cartoon avatar),
  • Digital filters (photo overlays that allow you to change the appearance, e.g. a filter in the form of a characteristic dog sticking out its tongue).

The application offers the function of adding content visible to the entire group of our recipients in the form of the so-called Stories. By posting them on your board, we provide a photo or video for 24 hours. After this time, none of the followers can see them again.

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With Snapchat, you can make video calls or send audio messages. For teenagers, exchanging Snaps is a lot of fun, and at the same time the perfect way to connect with their peers.

Photograph and publish, that is …

Instagram is a social networking site that is constantly gaining popularity, among both younger and older users. Photos or videos published on the portal are visible on your profile for followers and those who are accidentally added to your account. Users can comment or like your content using a heart. Importantly, it is also possible to set up a private account, thanks to which everything you publish can only be seen by specific people. Such a solution can be an ideal option for your child – thanks to this, the number of recipients of content published by them will be limited and the level of their safety on the Internet will increase.

In addition to publishing content directly on your profile, using the application, you can post the so-called Stories, as with Snapchat. Thanks to this option, users share with their friends what they are doing at a given time and place.

In the application, you can contact your loved ones using Direct Message, i.e. messages addressed directly to a specific person in the form of a chat, photos or videos.

On Instagram, you will find many profiles of people who publish valuable and useful content for parents. Do you want to see examples of them? We encourage you to read the article: “Can Instagram help raise your child?”

Why is it worth knowing

Social platforms are an indispensable element of a child’s functioning on the Internet. It is worth getting acquainted with the principles of operation of specific applications, if only to be aware of what your child’s online activity may look like.

We must also remember to sensitize our pupils to all the dangers of using these applications, and it will be much easier for us to do it with basic knowledge about them.

We encourage you to read the article “Does your child suffer from FOMO?”, In which you will learn the effects of spending a long time on the Internet (including on the social media platforms mentioned above) and how to deal with constant anxiety related to lack of Internet access in the child.


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