Snapchat: Friend or Foe?

Patrick Chambers, Staff Writer

Evan Spiegel, one of the world’s youngest billionaires, is the founder of Snapchat, one of the most used social media apps in the world. Snapchat has connected people on an unprecedented scale in a relatively short time. However, for all the progress it has made, some serious issues have been brought along as well.

 

Everyday, people rush to send “streaks” to their friends. Streaks are when you send at least one picture through the app to your friend(s), with the goal being to see how many days you can keep that connection. If you do not send streaks within 24 hours of the last time you sent them, then they are lost. People often send streaks multiple times a day to avoid this. It is not uncommon to wake up each morning and face over 30 unopened “Snaps”, with more rolling in during the morning rush, school, and the afternoon and evening. All of these unopened messages can result in distraction from important tasks, like studying and getting ready for school. Snapchat uses a lot of cellular data, meaning that it is not uncommon to max out a monthly data plan, which can cost extra money.

 

However, streaks are not the only distraction. There is also the “Stories” feature that allows people to post pictures that anyone who follows them can view. Often, people post pictures or screenshots of messages and post them, adding to the time it takes to open all of the Snaps. Each day, it may take up to ten minutes at a time to go through all of the unopened Snapchats.

 

Perhaps the most controversial aspect of Snapchat is the relatively new Snapmap feature. Snapmap allows people to see their friends’ location based on where they were last logged into the app. The function has also opened up a gateway to easier cyber-stalking and has given possibly dangerous people a tool to track where someone is.

 

So, what is good about Snapchat? It allows people to connect with their friends at any time, meet new people, and read news and human interest stories that update each day. Although Snapchat can be an enjoyable app to use, the negatives of using the app outweigh the positives. The furious rate at which Snapchat is used can be distracting, time consuming, and even cost money or put someone in danger of being stalked. Although it may seem like it’s all fun and games, one should proceed with caution, for it is important to use the app and its features responsibly. Before you open those streaks, make sure that you know all the negative impacts Snapchat can have on you.