Police encourage parents to talk to kids about Snap Map, other social media features

A new Snapchat feature allows you to find users' locations. (WISH photo)

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — Police are urging parents to talk to their kids about a new social media feature.

Snap Map allows Snapchat users to see where their friends are at on a map, down to the very street.

To opt out of the feature, you can go into Snapchat settings and click on “Ghost Mode.” If you want some of your friends to see where you are, select “Select Friends.” If you select “My Friends” option, that allows all of your Snapchat contacts to see where you are.

That’s why Carmel Police Sgt. D.J. Schoeff says people should not be friends with people they don’t actually know in person.

“It’s not really something that’s going to be beneficial for you to be in conversation with them via social media of any nature. Certainly with this, because of the mapping and Snapchat — and there are others that have mapping opportunities as well — it’s very important for that rule to be in place so that we don’t have the ability for someone else to locate our kids,” Schoeff said.

He also suggests parents sit down and talk with their kids about social media.

“A lot of parents would come and say, ‘Talk to my child about not having Snapchat, not having any sort of social media at all’ and I kind of equate this to driving a car. We don’t give our kids keys to a car and let them drive on their own without any sort of training and guidance, we give them some guidance. What I would encourage parents to do is very early on is take the opportunity to sit down and talk about social media and interact with their children about social media and and in this particular instance with Snapchat, again we have the conversation what’s this look like, what are the potential dangers that are out there what are some red flags if we see something that we know is inappropriate,” he said.

For more information on the Snap Map, click here. 

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