Behind the snap


Photo courtesy of iStock Photos

Snapchat next to other social media apps on a cellphone

Taylor Noe, Staff Writer

It is 5 a.m., you just woke up and you’re checking social media on your phone. The first app you open is Snapchat. You take a picture of your ceiling and call it “streaks” after going through everyone’s stories and looking over the snaps you got the night before.

Sound familiar? To most, this is a normal part of the morning. Snapchat is the 12th most popular social media app worldwide, and the 4th most popular among Generation Z.

Brittney Parker is a nurse at Akron Children’s Hospital who has used Snapchat for almost 8 years. 

“I think a majority of us [nurses] snap one another before we text,” Parker said. “It’s like our common social media platform.”

The reason Snapchat is used so much is because of the simpleness of it. It’s just pictures, and once in a while, actual chats. Stories only last for 24 hours, memories are basically a second camera roll, etc.

Snapchat is also a way to talk to friends and family, due to this, most people will get it as young as possible.

Mickey Warner is a freshman at GlenOak who has been a user of Snapchat for 3-4 years, they have experienced the effects of getting it young. 

“I got Snapchat around the age of 11, maybe 12, when I got my first mobile phone,” Warner said.  “Getting this app at such a young age had really affected the way I lived by a long shot. It made me isolate myself in my room and not talk to people all day.” 

A popular belief is that social media can cause people to go down a rabbit hole of bad social skills and mental health, which may just be true. 

According to WACO CSD, “Research suggests that young people who spend more than 2 hours per day on social media are more likely to report poor mental health, including psychological distress (symptoms of anxiety and depression).”

This is a reason why parents get scared about letting their children have the app. 

Still somehow when saying whether their kid can have Snapchat or not, the excuse comes up “I need it for this club/sport”, and it almost always works. 

Makenzie Hoopingarner is a sophomore, who wasn’t allowed to get Snapchat until this past year. She downloaded the app for the girl’s lacrosse team. 

“I feel like I really shouldn’t had to get it just for a sport,” Hoopingarner said.

Privacy was the biggest concern on whether she should get the app or not, which, is relatable for many. 

When trying to add someone, they must be accepted first. For most, though, the increasing number of friends and views becomes addicting, even if you do not know half of them. 

Snapchat also has “public profiles” and a “discover” column.

According to Bark.Us, “It’s easy to guess what topic always gets a lot of clicks: Sex. The Discover section is full of it.”

Public profiles add on to the discover column, anyone can be snapped by someone else without adding them first. This can lead to many more of the unwanted things on Snapchat.

Senior Juliana Castro has never had Snapchat but has seen the negative effects of it. 

“The sexual harassment and pedophilia that I have seen on the app is really atrocious,” Castro said. “I feel that the culture that has been created because of Snapchat fostered this environment.”

Yet, Snapchat is still used for good reasons, such as the filters, which is one of the main reasons lots of people first started downloading it. 

“The emojis and gifs are pretty funny,” sophomore Mackenzie Brown said. “Probably the funny pictures you can take too.” 

With filters comes the talk about if they change the perception of ourselves or not. Filters alter things like facial shape, eyes, nose, skin, etc. This can cause someone to feel as if they only look good with a filter. 

According to the Butler Collegian, “The addition of these facially-distorting filters is bound to lift society’s already sky-high beauty standards yet another notch higher.”

Another pro of the app though is the friends that can come out of it, especially the online friends. 

“The best experience is probably meeting all the close friends I have now,” Warner said. “[Without Snapchat] I wouldn’t be able to meet those new people that I’ve got to know and trust.”

Life for many people would be completely different in all ways without the app. 

“[Snapchat] allowed me to create an identity about myself and also share it with others,” Parker said.