There’s One Positive and One Negative Way Your Child is Using the VSCO Photo App: What You Need to Know.

VSCO
Image via Galit Breen

Is the VSCO photography app okay for kids to use? Well, there’s one positive and one negative way that kids use VSCO, also called VSCO Cam. This article breaks down both so that you can decide if it’s a good choice for your family or not.

The VSCO photography app is an app where users can create an account and upload or take photos, edit and add filters, and share them with other VSCO users or on other social media sites. They also sell collections of filters for editing, called presets, for use in photo editing software programs.

The details:

VSCO is quickly gaining popularity with kids, not as a replacement for social media sites, but perhaps as a trendy, less-used-by-parents site.

VSCO photos—yours and others’—can be easily saved to your phone’s photo library and shared on other social sites. While the ease of share-ability might give you pause, if someone else does share your photo, you do get a notification from the app, which is great.

Anyone can follow you on VSCO and it’s important to note both that there is an “Explore” feature where you can view photos from random users and that kids often post their VSCO profile link directly in their Instagram profile, making their VSCO profiles and photos very easy to find.

One feature that’s great to point out to kids is that you can choose not to include your location data within your images on VSCO. 

The positive:

A part of the VSCO app description says, “Because beautiful imagery trumps social clout, the number of followers, comments, and likes are absent from the platform.”

So the VSCO app definitely targets the creative side of your kids, which I love.

The focus on using technology as a tool and as a way to hone a creative skill is super positive.

The negative:

As this app is gaining popularity and more kids are using it, parents are taking a “backseat” approach to it. This is because the more obvious alarm bells like comments, “Likes,” and private messages aren’t ringing. Kids are starting to use VSCO as a venue to post inappropriate images of themselves and are sharing artistically posed, scantily clad, and nude photos are becoming super common among kids who use VSCO.

Some kids are viewing these posts as art and others are simply pushing those sexual boundaries. 

{ MORE: The 10 Best Apps to Make the Holidays Run Smoothly }

Discussion points:

  1. Adult content your kids may come across while using the app.
  2. The kinds of photos of themselves they should—and should not—share.
  3. How easily sharable the photos they share online are; and how many more people than they intended may end up seeing what they post.

I actually first heard of VSCO from other writers and bloggers who used it to up their Instagram photography game. When a group of kids from a school that I work with mentioned using it, my first thought was that it was a positive and creative use of technology. And it is. But like all things, it has a negative side as well. If your kids show an interest in using VSCO, all of the above is definitely discussion worthy!

Resource for you:

Starting and having these conversations is not for the faint of heart! Because they’re growing up with it as a part of their childhood, kids are using technology in ways we never even thought of.

To help maneuver this new terrain, I created a detailed checklist for you to use. It includes 9 things you can start doing TODAY to keep your child safer online. It’s super helpful and I’ve been told that it includes the things parents have never thought of when it comes to the online world and your kids.

You can get it for free RIGHT HERE.

{ MORE: Introducing the Smart Nursery: Devices for the Tech-Savvy Parent }

Galit Breen is the author of Kindness Wins, a simple, no-nonsense guide to teaching your kids how to be kind online; the TEDx Talk, “Raising a digital kid without having been one”; the online course Raise Your Digital Kid™; and the Facebook group The Savvy Parents Club. She believes that you can let your kids be online and still create a grass-beneath-your-bare-feet childhood for them. Get her guide with 9 things you can do TODAY to keep your kids safer online for free RIGHT HERE

What do you think?

There’s One Positive and One Negative Way Your Child is Using the VSCO Photo App: What You Need to Know.

Galit Breen is the author of Kindness Wins, a simple no-nonsense guide to teaching our kids how to be kind online. She has a master's degree in education and a bachelor's degree in human development and was a classroom and reading teacher for ten years. In 2009, she launched a career as a freelance writer entrenched in social media. Since then, her work has been featured in various online magazines including Brain, Child, The Huffington Post, TIME, and xoJane. Breen lives in Minnesota with her h ... More

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