If you’re a parent, these are the 8 Snapchat terms you need to know

Let’s get real here. We’re living in a world where emojis, filters, and disappearing photos are the new norm.

Snapchat, that app your kids are constantly glued to, is a labyrinth of teen lingo and strange symbols that can make you feel like you’ve landed on another planet.

You might be tempted to shrug it off and think, “I’m too old for this.” But hey, if you’re ever going to understand what the hell your kids are up to online, you need to speak their language.

So buckle up, because we’re about to dive into the wild world of Snapchat and decode those 8 baffling terms that your kids use like a second language. Trust us, it’s not rocket science; it’s just Snapchat.

1. Snap

Let’s start at the very beginning. How often have you heard your child say, “I’ll just send a Snap?” It sounds simple enough, but do you really know what it means?

A “Snap” is the basic unit of communication on Snapchat. It can be a picture or a short video that users capture and send to their friends. The catch? These Snaps self-destruct after they are viewed, disappearing into the ether of cyberspace.

Intriguing, isn’t it? Knowing what a Snap is forms the foundation of understanding this social media platform. So next time your child mentions sending a Snap, you’ll know exactly what they’re talking about.

2. Story

Moving on, let’s tackle the term “Story.” Have you ever overheard your child say something about posting a Story? And found yourself wondering if they’ve suddenly developed an interest in creative writing?

Well, in the Snapchat world, a Story isn’t a tale or narrative. Instead, it’s a collection of Snaps that users can post to their profile, which are viewable by all their friends for 24 hours.

For example, my daughter recently went on a school trip and throughout the day, she posted Snaps of her experiences on her Story. This way, she was able to share her day with all her friends at once, rather than sending individual Snaps to each friend.

A Story on Snapchat is more about sharing moments from your day rather than spinning yarns!

3. Score

According to GABE ZICHERMANN, the world’s leading expert and speaker on gamification, “Gamification is the process of using game thinking and mechanics to engage audiences and solve problems.” Snapchat cleverly employs this strategy with its ‘Score’ feature.

The Snapchat Score is essentially a number that reflects how much you use Snapchat. It increases by one point every time you send a Snap or open a Snap from someone else, but not when you post Snaps to your Story.

It’s a little like a game, encouraging users to stay active on the app. While it might seem like just another number to you, for many young users, it’s a status symbol.

Higher scores often give the perception of being more popular or active on the platform. If you ever hear your kids bragging about their high Snapchat Score, know that it’s all part of the game!

4. Streak

Picture this: Your son and his best friend have been exchanging pictures of random things every day for the past year. A pair of shoes, a half-eaten sandwich, the family pet…nothing seems off-limits. You might be scratching your head, wondering why they’re doing this. The answer lies in one word – “Streak.”

A Streak on Snapchat is maintained when two users exchange Snaps for consecutive days without a break. The number you see next to the fire emoji on their chat represents the length of the Streak, i.e., the number of days they’ve been exchanging Snaps. It’s a fun challenge for friends to see how long they can keep it going.

5. Geofilter

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, nearly 60% of teenagers use Snapchat daily. A major attraction of this platform is its unique features, one of which is the “Geofilter.”

A Geofilter is a fun overlay that users can add to their Snaps based on their specific geographic location.

For instance, if you’re at a popular tourist spot, there might be a unique Geofilter you can apply to your Snap to show off exactly where you are. They can also be used during specific events or celebrations in a certain area.

It’s Snapchat’s way of allowing users to add a touch of personalization and location-specific branding to their Snaps.

6. Lens

Last year, during a family gathering, my niece insisted on taking a group selfie. Just when I thought she was about to click the picture, she said, “Wait, let me add a Lens!” Suddenly, we all had bunny ears and animated noses on our faces in the photo! That was my introduction to the Snapchat “Lens.”

A Lens is a feature that lets users add real-time special effects and sounds to their Snaps using face detection technology. It can transform you into a cute puppy, a scary monster, or even swap your face with someone else’s in the frame. It’s all about adding an element of fun and creativity to your Snaps.

7. Discover

In the Snapchat universe, “Discover” is more than just a verb. It’s a feature that opens up a world of content tailored to the user’s interest.

Discover is a section within the Snapchat app where users can explore content from major publishers, celebrities, influencers, and even news outlets. It’s a mix of articles, videos, quizzes, and stories, all in a mobile-friendly format.

From the latest celebrity gossip to breaking news stories, the Discover section is a hub of engaging content that keeps users coming back for more.

Whenever your child talks about finding something interesting on Discover, they’re talking about this treasure trove of content within Snapchat.

8. Snap Map

‘Snap Map’ is a feature on Snapchat that allows users to share their location with friends. As a parent, this can be a bit concerning, given the potential privacy and safety issues.

But here’s something you might not know: The Bitmoji (the personal emoji users create to represent themselves on Snapchat) on the Snap Map changes to show what the user is doing based on their location and time. For example, if it’s late at night, the Bitmoji might be shown sleeping.

While it’s a cute and fun feature for kids, it’s crucial for parents to discuss the importance of privacy settings and when it’s appropriate to share one’s location.

Final Thoughts: It’s about Connection

In this digital era, Snapchat and its lingo are part of our children’s communication landscape. Understanding these terms is not just about keeping up with the latest trends, but about connecting with our kids on a level they understand and appreciate.

Every Snap, Story, or Lens they use is a form of expression, a glimpse into their digital world. By understanding these terms, we are ensuring their safety online and showing them that we care about their world.

So whether it’s about understanding what a ‘Streak’ means or discussing the importance of ‘Snap map’, remember that the heart of it all is connection. It’s about bridging the digital divide and fostering open communication with our children in a world that’s increasingly becoming digital.

As parents, let’s embrace this opportunity to connect, to learn, and to grow with our children in their digital journey. After all, isn’t that what parenting is all about?

Tina Fey

Tina Fey

Tina Fey is a nomadic writer with a background in psychology, specializing in child development. Born and raised in diverse cultural settings, she developed a deep understanding of human behavior and the intricacies of parenting. Driven by her passion for helping others, Tina now contributes to Careful Parents, offering practical advice and insights drawn from her expertise and experiences. Through her articles, she aims to empower parents with effective strategies for nurturing healthy relationships and fostering their children's growth.

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