Positive And Negative Aspects Of Snapchat

Positive And Negative Aspects Of Snapchat

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If you don’t have a Snapchat, there’s a good chance you have friends who do, no matter what your age is. For the most part, Snapchat affects the younger generations. In 2013, Snapchat reports that 71 percent of Snapchat users are under 34 years old and nearly 77 percent of U.S. college students use Snapchat every day, contributing to the 400 million Snapchat snaps made public, daily. Just because so many people have Snapchats, however, doesn’t mean that Snapchat is strictly used for good intentions. By writing this article, my goal was to shed light on the good and bad of Snapchat and how it has changed our population.

To start off, there are many good and innocent reasons to love Snapchat. It’s a way to keep in touch with friends that are living across the country, and gives you the comfort of seeing their face whenever you want as opposed to just words on a screen back and forth. You can also keep in touch with people outside of America as an easy way to message people and see their faces simultaneously. This way, you don’t have to spend a crazy amount of money calling them overseas or downloading an app that allows you to text each other.

Snapchat is a way to see someone’s face and message someone at the same time. This way, it’s better than texting someone because it connects that person’s facial expression to the words they write in their caption on the picture they send you. You could also use a relatively newer feature where you could Snapchat message people pictures or have a conversation with someone while sending them actual Snapchat pictures back and forth.

Snapchat is a way to capture memories, whether you’re traveling around your hometown, going across the country, or going to a different country. There’s always the option to save the picture on Snapchat when you send a picture to your friends of you and your family on top of a mountain that you’re about to ski down, or shoot a picture of an amazing view of Prague.

Despite these positive aspects of Snapchat, there are also aspects of it that aren’t the best. One of the reasons is that Snapchat can cause awkward situations with friends. It can cause tension with one friend, for instance, if you take a Snapchat with a girl or boy that was mean to that friend, or you take a Snap at a party with another cooler group of friends when you said you weren’t going out. This, obviously, causes drama between certain people in a friend group before the whole friend group gets the whole story.

Snapchat is a way to brag. There are some people who have money that don’t flaunt it, and there are some people who have money and make it very public. The way they do this is through either speaking to people about it or posting their wealth on social media. Snapchat, whether these people are storying or just sending Snapchats to people from their Snapchat friends contact list, can be a tool to flaunt their new expensive watch, that they’re driving your parents' new BMW today, or that they’re eating the finest filet mignon at a five star restaurant in New York City, or a fancy store in Milan. It’s, honestly, nauseating and no one wants to see these Snapchats -- unless you’re really consumed with what other people have, and care about being in with the crowd.

Not only do people use Snapchat to brag about their wealth, people also use it to deceive people on who they’re actually friends with. When people takes a selfie with a girl who’s popular or takes a picture with a boy that’s a big shot, they may feel better about themselves for a split second, but it’s honestly sad that they need to take pictures with people who they consider cooler than them to feel better about themselves. This is upsetting, shallow, and cringe-worthy.

Adding on to the fact that people use snapchat to seem cooler, socially, people can use it to deceive people about other aspects of their social lives. They could be miserable, but snap their friends while they’re out, appearing happy and social. They could Snap a picture of a party that looks fun when they’re sitting in the corner fighting with a friend. Despite the fact that you can see facial expressions and write messages on Snapchat, these expressions and messages aren’t always the full truth. The whole story can’t be told within approximately 100 characters that Snapchat gives you.

Lastly, even though each snap can be viewed for up to 10 seconds, someone can screenshot it so that they always have it. It’s not hard to do, and plenty of people do it, whether they’re screenshotting it because they think the picture is funny, using it to get revenge on another person, or saving a picture that someone may have regretted sending. Sexting represents two percent of the snaps sent each day, but of that two percent I guarantee that many of these pictures are saved against the sender’s intensions.

I could go on and on about the positive and negative aspects of Snapchat, but these are some of the main opinions that I have. Even though Snapchat can be handy for keeping in touch with friends and convenient when you want to send of picture of your outfit to your best friend, just remember that even though it seems like the picture lasts up to 10 seconds, every picture you send could be used against you.

Cover Image Credit: Snapchat.com

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I Visited The "Shameless" Houses And Here's Why You Shouldn't

Glamorizing a less-than-ideal way to live.
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After five hours of driving, hearing the GPS say "Turn right onto South Homan Avenue" was a blessing. My eyes peeled to the side of the road, viciously looking for what I have been driving so long for, when finally, I see it: the house from Shameless.

Shameless is a hit TV show produced by Showtime. It takes place in modern-day Southside, Chicago. The plot, while straying at times, largely revolves around the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. While a majority of the show is filmed offsite in a studio in Los Angeles, many outside scenes are filmed in Southside and the houses of the Gallagher's and side-characters are very much based on real houses.

We walked down the street, stopped in front of the two houses, took pictures and admired seeing the house in real life. It was a surreal experience and I felt out-of-place like I didn't belong there. As we prepared to leave (and see other spots from the show), a man came strolling down on his bicycle and asked how we were doing.

"Great! How are you?"

It fell silent as the man stopped in front of the Gallagher house, opened the gate, parked his bike and entered his home. We left a donation on his front porch, got back to the car and took off.

As we took the drive to downtown Chicago, something didn't sit right with me. While it was exciting to have this experience, I began to feel a sense of guilt or wrongdoing. After discussing it with my friends, I came to a sudden realization: No one should visit the "Gallagher" house.

The plot largely revolves the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. It represents what Southside is like for so many residents. While TV shows always dramatize reality, I realized coming to this house was an exploitation of their conditions. It's entertaining to see Frank's shenanigans on TV, the emotional roller coasters characters endure and the outlandish things they have to do to survive. I didn't come here to help better their conditions, immerse myself in what their reality is or even for the donation I left: I came here for my entertainment.

Southside, Chicago is notoriously dangerous. The thefts, murders and other crimes committed on the show are not a far-fetched fantasy for many of the residents, it's a brutal reality. It's a scary way to live. Besides the Milkovich home, all the houses typically seen by tourists are occupied by homeowners. It's not a corporation or a small museum -- it's their actual property. I don't know how many visitors these homes get per day, week, month or year. Still, these homeowners have to see frequent visitors at any hour of the day, interfering with their lives. In my view, coming to their homes and taking pictures of them is a silent way of glamorizing the cycle of poverty. It's a silent way of saying we find joy in their almost unlivable conditions.

The conceit of the show is not the issue. TV shows have a way of romanticizing very negative things all the time. The issue at hand is that several visitors are privileged enough to live in a higher quality of life.

I myself experienced the desire and excitement to see the houses. I came for the experience but left with a lesson. I understand that tourism will continue to the homes of these individuals and I am aware that my grievances may not be shared with everyone -- however, I think it's important to take a step back and think about if this were your life. Would you want hundreds, potentially thousands, of people coming to your house? Would you want people to find entertainment in your lifestyle, good and bad?

I understand the experience, excitement, and fun the trip can be. While I recommend skipping the houses altogether and just head downtown, it's most important to remember to be respectful to those very individuals whose lives have been affected so deeply by Shameless.

Cover Image Credit: itsfilmedthere.com

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For Camille, With Love

To my godmother, my second mom, my rooted confidence, my support

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First grade, March. It was my first birthday without my mom. You through a huge party for me, a sleepover with friends from school. It included dress up games and making pizza and Disney trivia. You, along with help from my grandma, threw me the best birthday party a 7-year-old could possibly want.

During elementary school, I carpooled with you and a few of the neighborhood kids. I was always the last one to be dropped off, sometimes you would sneak a donut for me. Living next door to you was a blessing. You helped me with everything. In second grade, you helped me rehearse lines for history day so I could get extra credit. In 4th grade, you helped me build my California mission.

You and your sister came out to my 6th grade "graduation". You bought me balloons and made me feel as if moving onto middle school was the coolest thing in the entire world.

While you moved away from next door, you were a constant in my life. Going to Ruby's Diner for my birthday, seeing movies at the Irvine Spectrum and just hanging out, I saw you all the time. During these times, you told me about all of the silly things you did with my mom and dad, how my mom was your best friend. I couldn't have had a greater godmother.

In middle school, you pushed me to do my best and to enroll in honors. You helped me through puberty and the awkward stages of being a woman.

Every single time I saw you, it would light up my entire day, my week. You were more than my godmother, you were my second mom. You understood things that my grandma didn't.

When you married John, you included me in your wedding. I still have that picture of you, Jessica, Aaron and myself on my wall at college. I was so happy for you.

Freshmen year of high school, you told me to do my best. I did my best because of you. When my grandma passed away that year, your shoulder was the one I wanted to cry on.

You were there when I needed to escape home. You understood me when I thought no one would. You helped me learn to drive, letting me drive all the way from San Clemente to Orange.

When I was applying to colleges, you encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. You told me I should explore, get out of California. I wanted to study in London, you told me to do it. That's why, when I study abroad this Spring in London, I will do it for you.

When I had gotten into UWT, you told me to go there. I did and here I am, succeeding and living my best in Tacoma. I do it for you, because of you.

When I graduated high school and I was able to deliver a speech during our baccalaureate, you cheered me on. You recorded it for me, so I could show people who weren't able to make it to the ceremony. You were one of the few people able to come to my actual graduation. You helped me celebrate the accomplishments and awards from my hard work.

When your cancer came back, I was so worried. I was afraid for you, I was afraid of what I would do without the support you had always given me. When I was in Rome, I went to the Vatican and had gotten a Cross with a purple gem in the middle blessed by the Pope to help you with your treatments. It was something from me and a little bit of my mom in the necklace, the gem.

Now, sitting so far from you away at college just like you wanted me to. I miss you. I wish I was there to say goodbye.

I'll travel the world for you, write lots of stories and books for you, I will live life to the fullest for you.

You are another angel taken too early in life. Please say hello to my parents and grandma in Heaven for me.

Lots of love,

Haiden

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