As an 18-year-old college student, I do not remember a time where the world was not constantly in my hands — quite literally speaking — as the 21st century has also become a time where, specifically the people of my generation, have become heavily reliant on their phones.
From my own experience and observation, smartphone users mostly use their phones as a means of communication, specifically text messaging, as they should; but this reliance on communication through a glass screen has created a lack of ability to socialize face-to-face. People have argued that texting is killing the definition of interaction and friendship, as people say things and “bond” over text, things they would never actually say in person.
However, I believe that texting is not the real society killer; rather, it is Snapchat.
Text communication has created a world where introverted people can become aggressive, funny, sexual or basically anything they want because all they have to do is type words. But imagine a world where you can be all these things you are not, and no one can even document it because the messages disappear. This is the world that Snapchat has created. Snapchat has become one of the most popular smartphone applications used worldwide, 60% in the range of 18-24 years old. When Snapchat was first created, users only had the ability to send pictures that would disappear after a maximum of 10 seconds.
This raised the issue of people sending inappropriate photos, photos that would never be sent over text because people could save them. The only way people can save a Snapchat is if they screenshot it; but if they do this, the other person is alerted which is just plain awkward. In my opinion, the more problematic social issue that Snapchat has created is within creating captions, and now in a more recent update, within Snapchat messaging.
So those risky text messages you used to send over text (documented until deleted) can now be sent over Snapchat and disappear within seconds as if you never sent it! Brilliant, right? No.
Snapchat has taken the destruction of our generation’s inability to communicate to a whole other level. Now someone can send a message or picture without worrying about the receiver sharing it with others.
The application has created a world where people can virtually say whatever they want and not suffer any consequences. It has produced a generation of lethargic cowards; of boys and girls that no longer need to take a deep breath and talk to their crush’s face because they can type whatever they want over Snapchat, immediately unable to be accessed by anyone after a very short amount of time. Snapchat is encouraging the culture that text messaging created, and this is one that I do not believe is good for the progression of society.
As an avid user of Snapchat myself, it would be hypocritical of me to say the application should be removed in its entirety, because it should not be. Snapchat is a fun way to send silly pictures and share moments with friends in a convenient matter. That should be the purpose users focus on rather than using it as a weak attempt of “talking” to others. People of this generation need to realize this, and stop using Snapchat for the wrong reasons.