Snapchat is one of the most popular social media platforms used widely by teenagers and young adults from all over the world? This mobile application is highly entertaining and enables you to communicate with anyone through instant images and short videos that can be used to capture any moment.
The best-known feature of this application is Snapchat stories. In this feature, you can compile your best photos and videos and publish them as a story for all of your friends and family to view. These stories last on your page for a maximum of 24 hours, and they can be viewed by people multiple times.
A lot of teenagers use this to their advantage as it allows them to share snaps from their lives from the past 24 hours and share them with everyone. Your story can also be made public using a sub-feature called Our Story. Anyone who uses Snapchat will be able to browse through these public stories, and you will find a lot of brands and celebrities using it
If you are a teenager, you probably already know how Snapchat works. If you do not, you are probably born in the 90’s and are over 25 years of age.
So how does Snapchat work? It is actually quite a simple process to register yourself. All you have to do is provide your basic details, such as your name, birthday, and your email address.
Some Pointers to Keep in Mind while Using Snapchat
Be careful when you choose your names because teenagers usually choose to go for silly names when they first create their accounts and then regret it later, as it cannot be changed.
After creating your account, you can easily add someone as your friend by scanning a picture of their ‘snap code’ or searching for their username in the search box. Once you have made friends, you can start communicating with them. There is a small difference; you usually send them a picture rather than a text to start a conversation.
There are all sorts of filters, video effects, short games, and lenses that you can try out and share with your friends. There is also an added feature of group texting where you can send texts and images to many people at the same time.
In addition to creating groups, using filters, and adding new friends, Snapchat has come up with a lot of new features. There is a ‘discover’ option where you will b able to view various videos, articles, and blogs from your favorite artists and brands. You also have access to news and entertainment, quizzes, and video editing tools.
Read more: Is it Safe to Send Nude Pics on Snapchat?
The Dark Side of Snapchat – Revenge Porn
There is a dark aspect to this application. According to the terms and conditions of using Snapchat, a user must be at least 13 years of age. When a user is prompted to enter their birth date, there is no such thing as age verification, and hence, kids under the age of 13 can easily sign up using false birth dates. Most times, there is a risk that young users might have access to content that is inappropriate and unfiltered.
Do you know about “Snapchat Premium?” One of the newly emerging dark sides of Snapchat is the “Snapchat Premium” feature. It is a seemingly personalized trend that is currently rapidly growing and is starting to become dangerous.
A Snapchat premium account is basically a normal account made private, and account owners can charge a fee for users to take a look at it. Many times, people who are part of the porn industry use these accounts to show explicit porn footage of themselves. And if you just make a small payment, a regular influx of self-made porn straight to your Snapchat.
Porn creators are exploiting the users of these premium accounts and using them as their target audience. The social and psychological effects of porn are already damaging enough but the negative consequences of porn is much worse when it victimizes someone. There are categories such as revenge porn and deep fake porn which allows porn creators to use content of non-consenting people who have absolutely no affiliation with the adult industry. This is like porn-on-demand but it is under the disguise of a premium account.
How Snapchat enters the Adult Industry
The premium snapchat accounts crosses the boundaries of people in various ways and is being exploited for sexual purposes. It overlaps mainstream porn and crosses our limits in terms of keep such explicit content away from our lives.
Social media is a platform that should foster healthy connection with people and sharing our lives with them. However, with personalized porn being directly sold to unsuspecting people, they are confronted with the content that they do not want to see. Sometimes, you may have to pay to access such material but many times, it just pops on your Snapchat discover page and you do not have control over it.
As a result, you end up with fake personal connections and may probably replace your actual sex life as you are picking a stranger to provide you with that connection online rather than being the receiving end of it in your real-life.
You may think that a good number of people on Snapchat Premium are consenting adults that are happily taking an active role in this kind of “relationship”. However, there is no method through which you can check can confirm if these people are adults and not teenagers with smartphones and the internet.
In this way, Snapchat is prone to illegal and illicit content as well, which is exposed to an unmonitored and unregulated system with various loopholes that can be accessed easily by anyone.
So, Should You Use Snapchat? Is it Good or Bad?
There is no answer to this question. Despite this app’s rising popularity and trendiness and its ghost mode feature, many parents worry that their children may be exposed to unsuitable information that might have long-term implications. For parents who monitor their children’s mobile usage, Snapchat does not have the option to save snaps and messages that can be viewed later.
You may think that Snapchat is a fun app that allows you to post silly and entertaining pictures without thinking twice. However, it might make its way into dangerous sites if you are not careful and might stay on those sites forever.
Stay vigilant about your virtual surrounding and stay to stay away as much as possible from features like Snapchat Premium. Would you risk your data being exploited? Comment your decisions and opinions in the comment section below.