Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Snapchat App May Encourage Risky Online Behavior among Teens ; YOUTH RESOURCES

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Snapchat App May Encourage Risky Online Behavior among Teens ; YOUTH RESOURCES

Article excerpt

Snapchat: It is the newest craze in the wave of visually driven social media. What is it? Snapchat is an app that allows users to take pictures of themselves, select to whom these pictures are sent and then set a time limit of one to 10 seconds after which the photo self-destructs.

What makes this Snapchat so appealing to teens? Nicole Sellars reports for www.yourteenmag.com that there are three major reasons teens are flocking to this most recent fad.

The first is Snapchat is a chance for teens to express themselves to their friends. The ability to take a silly picture of themselves and send it out to their peers, coupled with instant feedback, is not only a chance to celebrate their individuality but receive affirmation through "likes" and comments.

Maybe the biggest draw to Snapchat is the sense that students are able to operate under the radar, so-to-speak. While students have a plethora of options for expressing themselves through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, parents are largely aware of activity that happens through those services.

With most parents being unaware of possibly more than the name Snapchat, the activity that takes place on the service is largely done without the viewing eyes of adults. Not only are parents able to be excluded from Snapchat activity, but teens also can select which individuals and groups with whom they communicate, making it all about their inner circle of friends.

Finally, Snapchat gives an illusion of security when it comes to taking inappropriate pictures and sending them to peers. Because pictures self-destruct, the thought is that sexting now has a safe venue, free of permanent evidence.

One screenshot capture by a recipient though, and a permanent photo record has been created. Snapchat alerts senders when a screenshot has been captured. While acting as a deterrent, this does not eliminate the possibility that once a person possesses a photo they will protect the sender's integrity. …

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