We all know how popular and addictive Snapchat can be. For those of you who don’t use it (much like myself), Snapchat is a photo messaging app wherein users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to certain people. You can set a time limit for how long the recipient can see the photo ranging from 1-10 seconds.
Everyone loves its sense of privacy and the fact that all the pictures shared on the app are deleted after a maximum of ten seconds. If you want to save a picture then you’ll have to take a screenshot of it and even then, the sender receives a notification about it.
Yet, Snapchat isn’t all that it cracks up to be. In fact it may be a tool of social deterioration and here’s why:
1. It was originally designed as a safe sexting app.
When the designers are university students what can you really expect? This is an email bounced around among the developers concerning their first press release:
It was always obvious that this was one way to use the app effectively. With a great deal of teenage girls and boys using Snapchat, do you still think that it’s being used innocently? Even those who don’t intend to use the app in such a way can be sidetracked into it because it’s just that easy. After all, innocence can be corrupted and this is an accelerating tool in the process.
2. Your photos don’t get permanently deleted, that’s a lie.
The entire premise of Snapchat is indeed a lie. The whole point of the app was that your photos get deleted but that isn’t true since anything you upload about yourself is bound to be stored somewhere on the internet. In fact, Snapchat makes money off selling your personal details to marketing companies. So that’s why it’s free…
There are many ways to keep images that so call ‘disappear’ from the app, just take a look at an FTC complaint against the app:
In fact, an app called SnapCapture can save your snaps without sending out any notifications. So clearly the loopholes have been found and worked around.
3. Users indulge in self promotion to gain popularity which can be toxic.
A Psychology Today article pointed out that most of us still behave as if we were in high school, pining for likes and friends, when using Facebook. While it is the case with every form of social media, Snapchat users self promote through photos and most of them are selfies. While taking the occasional selfie is perfectly fine, it can turn into an unhealthy addictive habit. On the other hand, Instagram, owned by Facebook, is much better for sharing photos as it has superior privacy settings.
4. Its security is lax and can be hacked by a third party.
A friend of mine, who also happens to be a hacker, recently told me that Snapchat and Whatsapp have the lowest online security and could be easily hacked by someone who chooses to do so. There’s also an app called Snapchat Hack designed for this purpose. Private photos are at risk of being leaked thus exposing users to humiliation on the world wide web.
5. It isn’t the most useful mode of communication and can be a waste of time.
With even less characters than Twitter, it seems pointless to even have captions for the photos. When people use Snapchat it’s more likley that they engage in pointless conversations hence proving that it isn’t useful for actual communication. It can be a colossal waste of time as well.
I advise you to think twice before using this app. Even though you may love it, let’s face it, there’s going to be so many more apps developed in the near future. It’s not the end of the world.