How Teens Track Each Other on Snap Chat

“Last year Snapchat introduced Snap Map, a cartoon-looking map with Bitmojis of users positioned at their real-life locations, which is used by most teens who use the app.

It goes one step further than just showing where the kid is, it also can virtually show what they are actually doing. A Bitmoji is selected by Snapchat to represent what the user is doing. If they are at a concert or listening to music, the Bitmoji might have headphones on. If they are at the gym or exercising, their Bitmoji might have exercise clothes and sneakers. If they are asleep, it shows them with little zzz’s or in a bed. There’s also a function called Map Explore that allows you to scroll through the map to see where your friends are headed. These updates are generated by Snapchat users moving around rather than typing in their locations. You can actually watch as your friend moves from one place to another…

In no uncertain terms, I want to say that I am concerned that so many of our kids and teens are pinpointing people’s exact location, including home addresses and street names. This raises a lot of red flags.  As we know, the word “friend” can mean anything from a true bestie to a complete stranger.

Keeping our kids safe online is no easy task and Snap Map makes it even harder. It not only compromises the privacy and security of the kids using it, but it can also exacerbate feelings of being left out.”

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