Snapchat. Everyone knows about it, and most love it. Snapchat is the app that everyone’s talking about, and it looks like it’s going to be a talking point in the fields of social media and technology for a very long time.
Snapchat’s beginning was rough; however, time would push the app to become the focal point of important discussions in the technology field. Snapchat wasn’t even originally called Snapchat; it was named Pictaboo. The name definitely explains the strange ghost that Snapchat uses for its logo. The app began in Stanford University when Evan Spiegel befriended Reginald (Reggie) Brown, with Bobby Murphy joining the team shortly after.
However, Reggie would be “ousted” from his ownership of Snapchat after he filed a lawsuit against the two young founders of the startup. Snapchat said in a public statement, “In February 2013, an individual filed an action against us, our predecessor entity and two of our officers in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that we were using certain intellectual property that the individual jointly owned with our founders.” The court case would eventually end with a settlement of $157.5 million, $50 million paid in 2014 and $107.5 million paid in 2016.
Since the lawsuit, Snapchat’s popularity continues to grow exponentially, especially among younger generations.
However, as a result of its popularity, the app has faced backlash. In 2015, a girl from the Beverly Community used Snapchat to send a nude photograph of herself to her boyfriend in a distant town. He then spread the photograph to his friends and used the image to blackmail her. The feature of self-deleting pictures provides a false sense of security to its users, and because millennials and post-millennials use this app every day, it’s certainly difficult to ensure that people won’t use the app with malicious intent.
Many argue that Snapchat causes a distraction in academic settings as well. When Mr. Weber, Librarian at OBHS, was asked about his thoughts on the frequent use of the app in school, he revealed, “It’s a problem. It really has the potential to jeopardize the integrity of the school system with the dangerous ways in which people can use it. I mean, an entire class has the ability to find answers and cheat on a homework assignment or a test with the push of a button. It just seems really concerning.”
Though Snapchat may be a nuisance to school administration, the question of Internet freedom and censorship can be raised. Some may argue that students have the right to download any apps on their own personal devices.
The popularity of Snapchat has clearly spilled into the lives of our youth as so many students are using the app. This can obviously be a problem for educators as this app can easily lead to distractions in the classroom and cheating on assignments. Don’t get me wrong, it’s completely fine to have fun with Snapchat, but with moderation. It can be a fun app to use in your spare time, but since it can be easily misused, download with caution.