The Snapchat Trap

Fleeting Images May Remain

Chrissy Maber ’13

            Besides Instagram, there’s another popular app that caught mobile users’ attention for a quick way to communicate with friends. Snapchat lets users send short message service messages, which may include candid photos or videos that disappear seconds later supposedly never to be seen again. Senior Nicole Milano says, “This app is popular with teens because it is tempting for teens to send embarrassing, hilarious, or even nude photos of themselves.” Grace Wills, a senior who uses Snapchat says, “I like Snapchat. It’s fun because you are able to send and receive embarrassing pictures of yourself to and from friends.”

Friends can joke around and chat with one another without the pressures of looking “hot” all the time because the image disappear, whereas images on Instagram and Facebook are tailored to reflect a self image that is controlled. Teens think an image will supposedly be gone in a matter of seconds, so it lowers everyone’s guard and lets people interact with one another like real humans rather than like models.

One of the main concerns about Snapchat is that the app has given teenagers a way to be involved with sexting. An online publication, the Ridgewood Patch, reports that a number of Ridgewood High school female students recently sent nude pictures to male upperclassman using Snapchat. Unfortunately for them, the recipients used Instagram to save the pictures, posting them to the Internet. With Snapchat, teens willingly participate since they believe the picture they send will be destroyed in a matter of seconds. However, the terms and conditions that people mindlessly read states that some images cannot be completely deleted.

Margaret McCall says, “Due to the fact that images can get screenshot, people don’t have control over whether or not their pictures get permanently deleted. It’s kind of like Facebook; even if you delete a post you never know what people do with it who saw it. Things can always come back to haunt you.”

Senior Priscilla Ysaguirre who uses Snapchat says, “Although I love this app, there’s always the risk that you have of sending a picture to the wrong person and the worry of the picture getting screenshot. This would be bad because then they would have it forever and they would be able to send it to anyone.”

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