Can Snapchat Be A Potential Problem For Students?

By SYDNEY BASS

Originally Published January 2013

Snapchat, a very popular application among Jericho High School students and the public, stands as one of the top 10 applications for the iPhone.  This real-time photo application allows one to send pictures or videos to a controlled list of people. With just a click of a button, people can send photos or videos with text that can only appear on the recipients screen for up to ten seconds. This application may seem to be a private and benign way to send pictures, however, it can be more dangerous than photo-sharing apps because of the false sense of security that encourages students to take inappropriate photos.

“I definitely think that Snapchat could be dangerous because of the effect it has on what a person sends,” said junior Sabrina Berman. “I think that this app inspires people to send pictures they wouldn’t normally send if they knew the pictures could be saved.”

The idea that people are encouraged to take more daring pictures brings up many problems including sexting and social embarrassment. Sexting is clearly both an alarming and disquieting subject because of the potential disastrous consequences.

Senior Jaime Rook said, “I think that Snapchat does indeed promote sexting. I have received in general pictures where people look silly or are doing something humiliating.”

Some students aren’t necessarily aware of the potential setbacks of Snapchat and feel that there is no harm in sending embarrassing pictures through this app.

Senior Jessica Frankel said that if people knew that this application is not a safe way to send pictures, then they would definitely not send the kinds of pictures that they do.

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Seniors Danielle Chon and Emily Leventhal use Snapchat at lunch to send pictures to their friends.

Some point at the new video feature that was recently added to Snapchat to blame for the increased inappropriate pictures.

Sophomore Manish Singh said, “I have definitely seen an increased participation in Snapchat since the addition of the video feature. In terms of inappropriate pictures are concerned, I agree that this app does encourage sexting and that is why a lot of people use the app.”

Undeniably, there are ways that these photos and videos can get out which brings attention to both parents and students, whose reputations can potentially be shattered into pieces.

The Snapchat privacy settings states that they “cannot guarantee that the message data will be deleted in every case, therefore messages are sent at the risk of the user.” Naïve teenagers who resort to Snapchat as a fun way to communicating with their friends may not take the time to actually read the privacy settings. The overwhelming news is that Snapchat provides a safe way to send pictures, but how safe could it really be? The answer is not very safe considering that same picture you took on Snapchat can easily be all over the Internet that very same day. Social media apps and invasion of privacy often go hand and hand. No matter how convincing and reassuring an application may seem the reality of it is there truly isn’t a private place in the social networking world.

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