The Student News Site of Hudson High School

The Explorer

The Student News Site of Hudson High School

The Explorer

The Student News Site of Hudson High School

The Explorer

The hidden dangers of Snapchat

Snapchat+came+out+in+2011%2C+and+by+August+2014%2C+40%25+of+18+year+olds+in+the+US+were+using+Snapchat+on+a+daily+basis.
ViktorHanacek.cz
Snapchat came out in 2011, and by August 2014, 40% of 18 year olds in the US were using Snapchat on a daily basis.

Have you ever found yourself staring at a notification on your phone that a complete stranger has added you? Have you ever felt forced onto your phone just to reply back to your friends? Snapchat is becoming a “chore” to many young teens or adults. High schoolers will all tell you the same things: snapping everyone back, being left on delivered, maintaining streaks and posting on your story are just a few of the things that many teens feel like they “need” to do every day. 

Many students at Hudson High School have talked about how complete strangers added them on Snapchat and they had no clue who they even were. It was scary to think who was the real person behind the “bitmoji” on the screen with the amount of blackmail and harassment that many get because they didn’t know who it was. Because many high schoolers use Snapchat on a daily basis, the goal wouldn’t be to get rid of the app, but rather to let people know how to use it more safely.

The difference with snapchat and other forms of social media is that Snapchat contains your location and the you have the ability to see where others are. For many, the main reason they are not allowed to get Snapchat  is because of this. Then comes the ability for others to use the location against you, given that it shows the exact street and house you’re at. According Tom’s Guide, Snapchat is constantly tracking you, so a family member, bully or complete stranger with an ill intent could easily track a user down. 

Now, there is the option to get Snapchat+, which shows everyone’s exact path throughout the day. This may seem understandable for those who want to use Snapchat Maps as a way to see where your family members are. ScreenRant says Ghost Trails is an exclusive Snapchat+ subscription feature that lets users check their friends’ location history on a map for the past 24 hours. It can get pretty scary to know that even if you haven’t purchased Snapchat+, the people who do have it can see your location trail even if you can’t see theirs. 

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Snap locations also can severely affect your mental health too. If you see all your friends hanging out it could make you feel left out and lonely which gets very draining. Another reason is being able to see how long ago they were active. Say your friend was active a few minutes ago but ends up not answering you until the next day, it could make you feel hurt that they didn’t reply and make you feel like you need to be on Snapchat just watching until they answer.

Snapchat doesn’t save your messages and chats without you physically doing so. Snapchat will allow you to open a snap for the first time which shows the other person that it is opened. Next, if you want to see it again, you have to hit replay, which shows that on the other person’s phone that it is replayed. You can only replay it for a small amount of time. After that you really can’t ever see the snap again – so if something is said to another person or an inappropriate photo is sent, no one would know. It’s almost as if it never happened. Chats are the same way. You can click the chats to save it, but if you don’t, after a period of time they disappear, too. It can be really scary to know that a photo or chat could be really dangerous, but nobody would ever be able to know it was ever there.

The never ending cycle of sending snaps and chats is becoming addictive for many. Snapchat has become one of the number one platforms for teens to communicate with others. Many become obsessed with knowing who is hanging out with who, what new group is together, how long someone was active, keeping up streaks, etc. According to Dennis Hung, social media can be more addictive for young people than cigarettes and alcohol, meaning that it can be hard to break away from the negative cycle. 

Although Snapchat can be very dangerous there are some pros. Filters are a big part of snapping. With their updates, there are some really fun ones. The content is very short, which keeps many interested for long periods of time and does not become boring. You can also subscribe to different stories which include sports, crafts and other different stories that are shortened videos from places like Tik Tok or YouTube. But, most of these reasons are why Snapchat is so addictive.

We shouldn’t get rid of Snapchat altogether, but there should be more limits on monitoring the things people send and the location settings, like how even if you don’t have Snapchat+, people with it can see your path even if you cant see there’s. Teens should be able to have fun on social media (including Snapchat) stress free.

 

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About the Contributor
Lily Stevens, Reporter
Lily Stevens is a sophomore at Hudson High School, in her second year writing for The Explorer. Lily has always loved to write and her dream job would be to write for a magazine. Lily loves to write about current, “in trend”  news. Other than journaling, Lily is on the Varsity cheer team. Her all time favorite show is Gilmore Girls and she enjoys traveling to Florida to visit family and friends. She is very excited to continue her journaling journey and have another amazing year working for The Explorer.
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