There are lots of reasons kids love Snapchat, but one of the biggies is the way in which they can assess their own social standing in their group of friends. That is a wild concept – at any given point, your child can see just how popular or dismissed or ignored they are relative to their friend and frenemy!
And how do they do it – with emojis! Next to every person’s name (all their 4087 closest friends) lies an emoji that gives each user an indication of where they stand on the social pyramid of life that day. The emojis are automatically assigned by Snapchat based on the frequency and type of interaction you have with your friends. So if you have ever wondered what your child’s obsession is with ensuring they are always on Snapchat…well in a nut shell their FREQUENCY OF USE AFFECTS THEIR SOCIAL STANDING. SIMPLE AS THAT. OUCH!!!
And if you really want to understand just how painful the emoji map of your social life may be, here’s what just some of the emojis means:
· GRIMACING FACE: This emoji means that you and the person share a mutual best friend, but you’re not each other’s Best Friends.
· RED HEART: This emoji means that you and this person have been each other’s #1 Best Friend for at least two weeks.
· YELLOW HEART: This emoji means that you and this person are each other’s #1 Best Friend, but you haven’t been for at least two weeks.
· PINK HEARTS: This emoji means that you and this person have been each other’s Best Friends for at least two months.
· SMILING FACE: This emoji means that the person is one of your Best Friends, but you’re not one of theirs.
· SMIRKING FACE: This emoji means that you’re one of their Best Friends, but they’re not one of yours.
Note that these emojis are dynamic and can change depending on your interaction with your friends on the app at different points in time. One small argument can lead you to lose those two pink hearts and the whole friend group bears witness to it.
SO WHAT MUST YOU DO??
· If your child is not yet on Snapchat, really consider delaying – there are a number of things we don’t love about Snapchat(it being the no 1 platform for sexting is just one of them. The damaging effect on your child’s self-esteem is another). The App Store rates Snapchat as 12+ but we think it’s more like 16 + !
· If your child is already on Snapchat, don’t panic! It’s not too late to put some boundaries in place. Check out our free downloadable social media contract on our website as a great starting place (https://klikd.co.za/resource-center)
· Talk to your child and then talk some more !
WHAT MUST YOU SAY?
1. I read a little article today on all the different Snap emoji’s – wow there are quite a few. Which ones are your favourite?
2. What does it feel like to know who is connecting with your bestie (insert his or her name to make it personal)
3. What is it like when your emoji changes from say a red heart (friends for two weeks) to the two pink hearts -is two months like a forever friend?
4. What makes a forever friend in your mind?
Keep an eye out for our upcoming webinar on Snapchat- we are going to be giving you the full low down on the Snapchat obsession and if whether you should allow your kids to be let loose in the Snap world if you haven’t yet..
Sarah and Pam