Even if you do not use Snapchat, there is a fair likelihood that there are people around you that are addicted to this app. either way, it is impossible to not know of the Snapchat invasion unless you have been living under a rock, but for the sake of technicality, we will give a brief overview anyway. Snapchat is a multimedia mobile application that supports image sending to contacts, and is mostly beloved by the young and old for its many filters. In 2013, Snapchat released reports that stated that a staggering number of school and college students, and young office goers use the application every day. Naturally, with so much scope, the app is receiving a lot of attention from social scientists as well, with studies mainly focusing on the positive and negative aspects of Snapchat. In this article, we will look at both sides.
Positive aspects of Snapchat:
Let us begin with the reasons Snapchat is loved for.
Easy instant messaging
Snapchat, in its core, is just another instant messaging application that does not use any extra money or encroaches into your main balance. That makes it ideal for everyone, especially in this day and age when friends and family live far away from each other and there is hardly any time to go visit them or meet up with them. All you need to do is have some data on your mobile or be connected to WiFi, and you will be able to connect instantly with friends and family irrespective of which part of the world they belong to. The best part is, you not only get to send text messages, but see their faces at the same time. So, you don’t have to spend a truckload of money making international calls.
Make memories instantly
Snapchat has given new meaning to memories. You no longer have to capture photos and wait to send them in an email or through a cloud link later on- you can take a picture and sent it instantly through Snapchat. Every time you send a picture to someone on Snapchat, you can choose the option to save the photo as well, so that you don’t miss out any of these memories later on. This way, you can share events with friends and family in real time- while you are getting ready for your wedding, while you are about to climb a mountain, or while you are getting your new pet home.
This real time factor has more far reaching implications than just the preservation of memories. If you feel unsafe while traveling late at night, all you have to do is Snapchat message a picture of the area you are in, and your loved ones will stay updated of your whereabouts. You can do the same during a blind date or while meeting someone new for work. Snapchat indeed helps you a lot to stay safe if you use it the right way.
Negative aspects of Snapchat:
But of course, it is all about how you use it, and Snapchat does have a few downsides as well.
Unethical use of photos
To continue with the safety issue, Snapchat can indeed pose some problems with safety in the wrong hands. To be fair, each snap that you send or receive is only visible for 10 seconds, but that does not stop the use with the intent to do so from taking a screenshot of the image and saving it on their phones. Cyber bullying is a very real and dangerous thing in today’s society, and using compromising photos and creating fake accounts with licentious content is a very common way of harassing someone online. Many people to this exact same thing to harass or blackmail people they have a bone to pick with. For this reason, it is imperative that one sends photos with discretion.
Unrealistic expectations of life
Snapchat can, like any other photo sharing social media application, become a cause of jealousy and unhealthy expectations from life. No one is likely to share a photo, be it in real time or otherwise, of the worst or even average moments. The pictures that are sent over Snapchat are always those where the sender is enjoying themselves. Some of these pictures can actually be quite misleading, and create a sense of envy and inadequacy in the recipient, who might feel that they are not being able to live up to the general standards.
With the invention and invasion of social media websites and applications, life has become very public. It is very easy to get carried away in the fad of presenting the most wonderful moments of your life to the people in your life. Being in the public attention is an inborn desire in all human, and apps like Snapchat fuel that desire. However, it is important to remember that there is nothing better than discretion and safety. Snapchat is merely an application; whether it is good or bad depends entirely on how it is being used.