Are You a Ghost?

July 23, 2017

Dear Families,

In our ever changing world of social media, one needs a master’s degree to navigate the countless updates. Recently, Maddy and I discovered a very 1984 update to Snapchat. While driving on Santa Fe to a baseball game in Castle Rock, Maddy received a text from one of her college roommates. It read, “Where Ya headed, Maddy?” Followed by a screenshot of an emoji in a car on Santa Fe. Umm….What?

Oblivious to the text exchange, I jumped a bit when Maddy blurted out, “What the heck?” I, of course, immediately asked her if everything was OK.  She said, “Apparently Snapchat can see where you are now.”

“I’m sorry what did you just say?”

She proceeded to show me a screenshot similar to the one at the beginning of this article. We both found ourselves completely shocked. I asked her if she knew that Snapchat had this capability. She told me to hang on while she asked Victoria how she could see us. Victoria explained that it was the new Snapchat update. 

So I pose the question to you.

Did you know that Snapchat created an update that automatically shares your location with everyone you follow and then some? In order to avoid this, you must go into Ghost mode. Mind you the default shares your location. You have to opt out of sharing your location by selecting Ghost mode.

To check your current mode, open the app as though you are going to send a Snapchat. Place your index finger and middle finger on the photo screen of the app. Spread your fingers about an inch apart. Now, slide them together fairly quickly. If you complete the task correctly, you will see the map. On the map, you will see your emoji and the emoji of the people you follow. If you are in Ghost mode, you will only see your emoji with a blue and white ghost over your face.

You can continue to slide your fingers together to widen the map. You can cause the map to show all of North America, South America, and Iceland. As a middle school principal and parent, this feature alarms me on many levels. I suggest only the obvious, internet safety.

So, I close with this question. Is your student a ghost?

Honored to Serve You All,

Janet Worley

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