Snapchat…What’s the Big Deal?

Snapchat, I really don’t get it. Why would you want to take a picture or send a message that only last a few seconds? I can really only see negative consequences as a result of this. Someone takes a risqué picture but then it gets screenshotted and now it’s forever, or an ingenious bullying app that leaves no proof that it ever happened. I do not see the appeal. I saw an article on Twitter @courosa shared,  “My Little Sister Taught Me How to “Snapchat Like The Teens” After reading it I still wasn’t inspired to download the app and start snapping. Now, I know I am not the most avid social media user, I’m actually pretty terrible, but I can see the usefulness of other social media sites. Facebook can be used to connect with old and new friends and there is interesting news bits and groups you can join. Twitter has huge educational benefits. I can find many interesting articles and thought provoking tidbits that will positively impact my teaching. Pinterest, I love. This is one social media app that I rock. I am a little bit addicted actually, to the point where I limit what I pin so people don’t get annoyed. I think it is very practical. I can use it to find ideas for school, cooking, cleaning, crafting, DIYing, etc. Snapchat seems to serve to no purpose, so why would I invest my limited time in it.

“Of teens ages 12 – 17, 81% use social media”

24331490695_22bc552d2a_o (1)Photo Credit: The one place for all businesses! via Compfight cc

After reading the articles for class this week, I am starting to see the draw. It does make sense that people don’t want all pictures of themselves posted to a place where they stay forever. When universities and potential employers check social media to decide whether or not they want you, you may not want them to see you engaging in certain extracurricular activities. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it doesn’t always give context. Also, having your parents know your every move, although a great parenting technique, isn’t every teenager’s dream. I think it is a positive move that teens are thinking about their online profile and what it says about them and how it can impact their future. When making a hasty, not well thought out post in the heat of the moment can literally get you fired, maybe Snapchat is the better alternative.

“41% of smartphone owners between 18 and 29 use messaging apps that automatically delete sent messages, like Snapchat”  

One of my big hang ups with Snapchat is the disappearing pictures. When I take a picture I want it to last, so I can look back and remember that time. I feel I can’t remember half my life so capturing those special moments is important. When I look at photos they bring back the memories like the of feeling of the sun on my face as I laid on that small remote beach by the ocean in Spain, the giddiness I felt when dating my now husband, the excitement of buying our first house, the happiness of our wedding day, the joy felt when our daughters were born. I know these are big moments, but photos also capture those little moments of life that are easily forgotten. However, when I think about all the pictures I took in my teenage years, which I had to pay to develop, I’ve thrown most of them out.  So, I guess having them disappear after a couple seconds or hours isn’t such a ludicrous idea after all.

“Instead of posting generic and sanitized updates for all to see, they [teenagers] are sharing their transient goofy selfies and blow-by-blow descriptions of class with only their closest friends”

I did a little more research about Snapchat to get the full picture. “What’s the point of Snapchat and how does it work?” was a very informative article and has lots of short entertaining videos. What I found may have just lead me to believe that Snapchat isn’t so bad after all. Teenagers want to be in the moment and Snapchat is a great tool to express that. From the standard snaps, to stories, to chats, and even live video chatting, Snapchat is, I have to admit, a pretty cool app. You can even transfer money using it. Many young people are leaving social media sites like Facebook and Twitter for the more intimate space of Snapchat. This could have potential drawbacks like parents not being able to monitor their children. Snapchat also doesn’t provide opportunity for new ideas to enter young people’s social networks. When youth are not exposed to social justice issues or political ideas they may develop a very narrow view of the world. Snapchat Discover is a new way to get information from editorial teams like CNN or Daily Mail and this could bring the news to Snapchatters and expand their views. However, the personal learning network that other social media offers is still lost and these networks may become increasingly important in the push to stay connected in this modern age.


3 thoughts on “Snapchat…What’s the Big Deal?

  1. Now that we are retired & are snow birds & RVers, your research has got me thinking of other ways I could communicate with my family. For example, I could have a travel blog with dialogue & pictures of the many places we hope to visit.


  2. I’m fortunate enough to be a user of Snapchat and am able to connect a bit with my students on it… but I’m curious as to what is the next thing like this in the future? What are some apps or connections before that maybe I did when I was in school (MSN Messenger), I feel like every couple years there’s always something new to continue learning about.

    I had no idea you could transfer cash using Snapchat. Adds to the importance of students learning about digital citizenship so there isn’t an issue. If a student had their debit card linked and someone got a hold of their phone… problematic.

    Facebook is apparently “uncool” now at our high school… many have it, but Instagram and Snapchat are the main social media apps.

    Nice article!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There always seems to be the next big social media app/site. I think that will continue into the future. I think the money transfer is just in the US as of right now, but I’m sure it will come to Canada before long. It could be problematic if a student loses their phone, I would assume it is password protected, or at least I hope it is. I also wonder if there could be bullying around this. Transfer me money, instead of give me your lunch money. Hopefully that doesn’t happen.


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