I hate Snapchat. (plus I also hate selfies but that’s another story)
Don’t get me wrong it can be used responsibly and for fun; but the negatives far outweigh the positives.
Snapchat allows you to send pictures to friends which will be shown to just them for a predetermined amount of time and then supposedly disappear forever. The problem is that it may not disappear forever. You can screenshot the picture (which alerts the sender, but its too late to do anything about it. & there are ways of hacking the app so that no screenshot notification is made) and its been discovered that these pictures can be recovered.
So how is this fun app deadly?
Bullying is done across all social media but Snapchat makes it that much easier. You can send a hateful message, they see it but it disappears before anyone else can see it or save it. So it’s like it never happened, no evidence.
There are cases of attempted suicide from bullying in the UK.:
- A 12 year-old tried to commit suicide over bullying from Snapchat.
- A 14 year-old was bullied by others on Snapchat, and tried to commit suicide
Although it is reported that it isn’t used primarily for sexting and the like, it has created the perfect platform for it. You can send a picture to one person, which is shown for a short period of time and then is gone “forever”.
This is the part that is the most dangerous in my opinion. I met a high school student, at work, who claimed to have over 30 nude pictures of different people from her school. This isn’t something that only happens here or there, its happening all around us. There are so many cases of bullying and suicide from this sort of behaviour. All it takes is one compromising picture of someone that is spread to a few other people to light a wild fire. It can even come back years later to create issues, as it did in the Amanda Todd case.
Here are 3 cases of suicides because of social media and pictures.
Thankfully the Government of Canada has become more aware and have launched the ‘stop hating online‘ campaign. Their wesbite is here. There have even been child pornography charges laid to teenagers who have these pictures. This can lead to them being put on the child sex predator list for the rest of their lives. There are severe consequences for the possession and spreading of what is in all actuality child pornography, but they don’t see it like that.
While I think Snapchat is terrible, I acknowledge that there are bigger issues at play. I just think Snapchat is providing a simple platform for the sharing of potentially deadly pictures.
In all your social media and communications just one thing: Be Safe.