Snapchat: The quick disappearing act

Brittany Moghadam and Hailey Haas take a photo using Snapchat's face swap filter, one of many filters unique to the app. Snapchat calls their filters,

Photo courtesy of Brittany Moghadam

Brittany Moghadam and Hailey Haas take a photo using Snapchat’s face swap filter, one of many filters unique to the app. Snapchat calls their filters, “Lenses,” send they frequently add new ones to keep up with new trends.

In the past year, ten percent of America’s population of twelve to twenty-four year olds who use social media have moved from Facebook to Snapchat as their favorite platform, according to a report done by Edison Research at Convinceandconvert.com This ten percent includes many Faith Lutheran students with Snapchat accounts.

According to a report released this past January on Fortune.com, six billion people per day use Snapchat. If six billion people per day use this platform, this proves that Snapchat definitely is a highly used app by mainly youth and young adults.

Seventh grader Trey Black said he uses Snapchat for “talking to (his) friends.”
As a quick way to communicate with others, people on Snapchat can simply snap a photo, add a caption, and send it to the desired person’s username. Through the app, people no longer need phone numbers to text each other, as long as they know the person’s username.
Besides communicating with others, students enjoy the simplicity and efficiency of the app.

“I feel like it’s quite convenient because it is like texting, and it’s easy all around,” said sixth grade student Elisabeth Flora.

It takes mere seconds for quick thumbs to take a picture and send it to someone or post it to their “Story.”

“(People) can basically put anything on (their) Story,” so that all of their friends can see the person’s photo or video clip, “but there is a setting that (people) can change so that only certain people can see (the person’s) Story, or some of (their) friends, or nobody at all,” said seventh grader, Emily Garavuso.

One feature of Snapchat includes filters that are animated and unique to the app. Seventh grader, Brooke Barry said she “love(s) the filters.” Some popular filters include throwing up a rainbow, puppy dog ears, nose, and tongue, and face swap.

“It is fun sending funny photos to people,” said seventh grader Chris Baldwin, yet the photos vanish within ten seconds in the app.

Snapchat was originally developed by Stanford University students, Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown. The students built their app with the goal of creating a way for people to send photos and not stress, knowing they will disappear.

“I think that anything that is meant to erase itself comes with some pretty inherent danger, because the very nature of it implies ‘You know you are not supposed to be sending this,’ because it is going to go away,” said Middle School Counselor, Mrs. Courtney Burns.

Some people believe that after the ten seconds, the photo or video will vanish, never to be seen again.

“(People) can only view a picture once, and no one except (the sender) and the other person can see (the picture),” said Black. No one will ever know, besides the sender and receiver of the photo, what the caption says or the content of the picture.

In reality, it is not just the sender and receiver who view the photo. People can screenshot the “snap,” and keep it forever, but more importantly, “God knows, and God sees all of those little things,” said Theology teacher Mr. David Pendley, about the disappearing conversations of Snapchat.

Distasteful or inappropriate photos with explicit or vulgar content can also lead to the abuse of Snapchat.

“We have had to discipline students for using Snapchat inappropriately,” said Assistant Principal Mr. Jacob Kothe.

Snapchat can also take away from other things in life, such as family and school.

“I spent too much time on (Snapchat), instead of doing my homework,” said seventh grader Maggie Skinner.

It is easy to get sucked into the world of Snapchat while trying to keep up with conversations with many different people, and throughout it all, annoying strangers can interfere with the fun. The best thing to do is block strangers, and report them to Snapchat if they are harming or provoking a student in any way.

People ranting on Snapchat over arguments that occurred in person can tear apart relationships, friendships, or teams.

“My main concerns about Snapchat is when you have a fight with somebody, and you go on Snapchat and talk about the other person. I think (Snapchat) makes it so that there is more of an avenue to be disrespectful and show un-Christ like characteristics,” said History teacher Mrs. Tish Carroll.

As much as Snapchat can build relationships, it can also break relationships.
To view a PDF version of this story, please the attached: Snapchat PDF