Snapchat: A Teen’s Perspective

Screen Shot 2013-07-03 at 8.34.04 AMFolasade is a 16-year-old from Monroe, Louisiana. She enjoys learning as much as possible from techniques in swimming and tennis to new math formulas. She feels communication is only heard through the arts and enjoys all forms from water painting to writing.

What Is Snapchat?

Snapchat, an iOS and Android app since 2011, has recently been catching they eyes of the youth with its signature ghost. It is an app that can send pictures, but they disappear after ten seconds or less. All you do is “Take a Snap, Set the Timer, and Pick a Friend or a Stranger”. This app allows people to communicate with a picture, caption, and a drawing.

Why Is Snapchat Popular with Teens:

Teenagers just can’t get enough of this app. Just recently it has been a booming necessity to the day-to-day life of a teenager. The fact that teens can send selfies and not get judged is just a blessing (since that is what the app’s for… right?) Now with Snapchat’s new update, you can instantly change a photo to sepia, black and white, or negative! Who wouldn’t want to send a picture like that? Well these functions are only for those extreme snapchatters because you need the *“secret code”. Aside from the new effects, teens can spunk up a picture with the all new colors available. Even though it has been around for two years it’s just getting popular. Teens get to communicate by just sending a picture instead those complicates abbreviations and emojiis #hardwork. Not only is it rampant in the lives of teenagers, but also in adults’ lives too. It’s so easy to send a picture and five words and keep on moving.


The major reason for this app is for the signature “disappearing”. The recipient can’t keep the picture for past the time limit. This is a great way to send fun pictures to friends that don’t necessarily need to be posted on Facebook or Instagram. However, since the picture vanishes some teens feel frisky and send nude pictures and videos. So it’d be a plus that the picture disappears and no one has it held over you to prove anything. Now teens feel they can send a naughty picture to their boy/girlfriend and not have a permanent remainder because on Snapchat the picture vanishes right before your eyes. Aside from the pictures, Snapchat even notifies you when someone’s opened your picture and what time exactly. With these quick snaps of your life people can connect in an easier way to keep up with friends.


Entering the “Snapchat World” does not disable Screenshots. Therefore, if you just send someone a nude pic, it can easily be saved onto their phone. Snapchat does notify you when someone screenshots your picture too. But that doesn’t mean it is going to be deleted on the other person’s phone. Of course friends snapchat each other, but random people you don’t know can send a picture of who knows what.

What Parents Can Do About Snapchat:

Parents can inform their children about how the pictures sent can always be screenshot. Informing teens about the feasible privacy settings would also be a benefit. It asks whether to receive snaps from everyone in the “Snapchat World” or just your friends. By only selecting friends doesn’t mean you can’t get friend requests from others. However, blocking and declining requests can be done with just a swipe, and Snapchat doesn’t even tell the other person they were blocked/ denied. Not only does eliminating the randos and creepers help, but also minimizing the time your teen allows people to see the picture can make it harder for others to screenshot it. It’s harder to take a screenshot in three seconds versus ten. Also just asking the question “Would you feel okay posting this picture on Facebook, Instagram, etc.” could help that teen draw a line to what they send in the “Snapchat World”.


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