A new application for communication has emerged and has revolutionized texting, making made it “an intriguing experience.”
According to Ryan Kashin, a sophomore communications major at Christopher Newport University, Snapchat has been the culprit behind endless nights of laughter and guessing games, which have lasted for hours.
Snapchat, as he points out, is much like the Instagram app (which was released for all smartphone users early last year) in that it shares pictures with others. However, Snapchat allows for video content to be shared as well and has a set time for a user to view what is sent to them. Essentially, it is a texting app with no words. Users must guess what their friends are doing by putting context behind the images they see. The exciting part however, as Kashin puts it, is “ having to rush to see the picture and feeling confused yet extremely alert, all at the same time.”
Another key feature this app provides is the ability for users to see if their friends have taken a snapshot of their image, allowing users to be conscious of others viewing it. In this way, the app assumes a watchdog role, in that it notifies users as soon as these snapshots are taken, so that they are aware of which friends now own these images.
With the help of Kashin, 70 students were surveyed at the Trible library regarding this app. Out of those, 42 owned the app, 21 had heard of it before, and seven knew nothing about it.
According to ABC News, Snapchat has had over 2 billion “snaps” since it was released last summer. Teens of all ages are engaging in this app and parents nationwide are reporting sky-high “sexting” rates.
Although this may be true in schools across the nation, Kashin argues that these acts are “extremely immature and tasteless” and that younger teens are more likely to do this. He adds that none of his friends on the app have ever even contemplated the notion of sharing sexual images and that to do so would, in his opinion, “be reckless.”
It is a fact that new applications broaden our communication capabilities and may bring entertainment as a result. Of course, there is always the possibility of misusing such technology, like there is with anything else. The entire sexting notion can be put to rest as Kashin puts it, as long as users remember this: “If it’s shareable with your mom, it’s shareable with everyone else. Otherwise, don’t even bother.”