You Better Run a Check!

Tom Wright, Technology Writer

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Snapchat is a social media app that allows you to send temporary photos and videos to your friends, relatives, and strangers. While it was originally an app that allowed you to send nude and revealing pictures to love interests, it’s now used by the most of the general public with an estimated 173 million online users daily. About 1 million snaps and 400 million stories are created daily. People will put everything about their day on Snapchat. What they ate, where they’re going, when they wake up or go to bed, and just about every other personal fact you could think of. But what’s the big deal? Why do so many people like this app? Why are some people so addicted to these short depictions of days of the people they know, or barely know? While it may hurt many I’m not for Snapchat. It’s too revealing and certain features are a bit too dicey for my liking.

Your friends can find you anywhere!

Here’s a fun hypothetical: A random guy by the name of david444 friends you on Snapchat. You don’t know him, but don’t want to be rude and friend him back. He never posts on his story and never sends you anything. It seems like a dead account. Fast Forward a few weeks and this new great update comes out for the beloved app, Geonet. A map that shows the location of you and everyone you know! You turn it on and it all seems like fun at first. Then later that night there’s a knock on the door. It’s a random guy with a gun who proclaims himself to be david444.

Does anyone see the fallacy in this feature? Do you want your friends to know your location 24/7? Crazy people can find where you live, or what restaurant you and your family are eating at. It’s a nice dinner until david444 walks in! Although the highlighted situation may seem improbable and unlikely to happen, why take the risk? The feature can be turned off, why take the risk?

An Addiction

How many classes have you walked into with people in the selfie pose position, or are plastered to the screen in anticipation to see how many people opened the recent snap of their desk with a little sign underneath that says “Tewksbury Memorial High School”? How many people are taking videos during class of them doing dumb acts of stupidity for a couple of laughs? How about videos of teachers? They don’t know they’re online and certainly don’t want to be. The sad truth nowadays is that people would much rather text than have a regular conversation. Snapchat only furthers this reality. If you followed every single person in this school, you could quite literally know everything that has happened during the day as if you were there! People will spend entire classes on Snapchat sending pictures back and forth and then will complain that the teacher hasn’t taught them and that they don’t know what their doing. Of course you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ve been fixated on a new filter that gives your head bat wings! It just adds to the phone problem in the school, but if the administration does anything about it we’d have a riot on our hands! People would complain and cry about the fact that they can’t see what’s going on with Brianna right now. It’s not just high schoolers. Adults are addicted too! The average user spends about a half hour daily on Snapchat. So why are we so obsessed with this app? Convenience. You can message anyone around the world and see exactly when they start typing or if they take a screenshot. Or maybe you don’t want to feel left out. Whatever the reason is, we all need to look up once and awhile.

On February 2nd in 2016, The Huffington Post released an article called “Confronting my Daughter’s Addiction. To Snapchat.”. It tells the story of a family, whose daughter is addicted to Snapchat. It got so bad that they felt as if they were losing their daughter. So, they deleted Snapchat of her phone (twitter too just to be safe). Now, half of you reading this article are going to be livid. “That’s an invasion of privacy!”, “It’s her phone she can do what she wants!”. In any reality it’s not. The parents paid for the phone, continuously pay for the plan, and pay for an amenities to go with it. They reserve the right to look through it. The other half either understands or doesn’t care. This family felt as if they were losing their daughter to an app! This is an epidemic. It sounds extreme, but it’s true.

Challenge Time

Here’s the challenge. Delete Snapchat off your phone for a week. What’ll it hurt? If you aren’t addicted to the app, then take this Challenge. What’s your opinion on this article? Let’s start a discussion in the comments below.

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