The social media landscape is buzzing, yet again, over a new kid on the block that just may give Instagram a run for its money. Meet Snapchat, a social pic app designed to “make social media fun again”. Compatible for iOS and Android mobile operating systems, Snapchat enables users to capture images and send them to select recipients. Sounds like sending a picture message right? Not quite. The catch is, the recipient(s) can only view your image for up to 10 seconds and then it self-destructs in cyberspace, never to be seen again…. supposedly.
For raunchy “sexters” and silly kids alike, this mobile app sounds like a cure all to erase any evidence that you don’t want the general public-mom, dad, your boyfriend, your office-to know about; however, there are a few loop holes that can shatter this false sense of security. Firstly, 10 seconds doesn’t seem like a long time to view a photo, but it may just be enough time for a recipient to take a screenshot. Although the app is enabled to alert the sender when a screenshot is captured, there’s not much that you can do to stop that person from saving the picture to their own device, and most seriously, sharing it with others. Secondly, that mere 10 seconds is also long enough for a different device to capture the photo while its still viewable through Snapchat.
With this said, its understandable why social media junkies and parents are buzzing over this new app. If you’re an innocent 7th grader, with a fresh smartphone, who just likes to take silly pics of you and your friends at lunchtime, this may be the perfect mobile application; however, if you’re a 10th grade girl, with a slew of boys who’ve been chasing you since you got your braces off, well, this app is a cause for concern for your parents. For us adults, this app can offer one of two things: a great escape from grown-up realities like bills, office work, and kids through silly pictures of our friends; or, a nightmare of embarrassment if you don’t practice discretion in what you send.
So, here’s my advice to you if you’d like to consider using this app:
If you don’t know how to act, don’t Snapchat ;)