The kids are on Snapchat in droves. At last count the messaging app was logging in 100 million daily users. Of those, numbers recently released by the company show that 86 percent of active users are between the ages of 13 and 34 in the United States. After age 40? Forget about it.
So why aren’t parents on Snapchat? It may be by design. (PS, we’re officially known as “the olds.”) In January of this year, Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel was quoted as saying, “We’ve made it very hard for parents to embarrass their children.” Don’t believe him? Try finding someone on Snapchat without knowing their screen name — it’s near impossible. And the way Snapchat is essentially confusing to the over-40 club may in fact be its essential selling point. Unlike the more user-friendly Facebook, which has been
ruined discovered by the parental set, Snapchat still feels mom- and dad-resistant. And if you don’t believe us, just read this account of a 32-year-old senior tech editor trying to figure out that how to send a Snap. We guarantee it will make you feel better if you’ve ever struggled to understand the concept, let alone the user interface, of the app.
But all of this may change as Snapchat attracts a larger and older audience. At one high school in Nebraska, teachers have started experimenting with using Snapchat to reach kids. Now students can receive campus reminders and announcements via the disappearing messaging app. Sorry, kids, looks like the olds are destined to ruin yet another party.
So what is the trick to understanding Snapchat? According to Gary Vaynerchuk (who is a walking and talking 40-year-old!), it’s all about practice over perfection. The CEO of Vayner Media says that you have to be open to lots of trial and error before you become a master Snapchatter.
Still feeling resistant to getting on the bandwagon? Consider this: A recent study from the University of Kansas concluded that tech-savvy parents communicated better with their kids. Analyzing relationship satisfaction between young adults and their parents, researchers found that the quality of the bond increases with the number of communication tools each party is willing to use.
Those means of communication can be anything from texts, emails, video calls, Facebook messages, instant messages and more. And get this: Those with the highest relationship satisfaction report that their parents had mastered three forms of new-media communication. Ready to make peace with Snapchat? It might be time.