By: Ashley Plescia
In today’s society it can be appropriate to say that people are attached to their phones, to the extent that they take it to washrooms, sleep beside it and are constantly looking at it. Which is reasonable because of how access is available 24/7. When it comes to the target of this technology-obsessed trend, it seems like age has no limits. There are infants with the skills to use some applications, up to elderly. Of course, the majority of those most involved in the up to date trends of the Internet are young adults. One of the fastest trends that grew is Snapchat. “Snapchat is a mobile app which lets users share images or videos that disappear after a few seconds” (Gross). This application has affected media with much debate. Some refer to Snapchat as the “next instagram” while others refer to it as a new source for “sexting” (Gross). Snapchat’s founder has made it perfectly clear that the application is not for sexting (rivlin). As he has stated, Snapchat’s purpose is “used for banal selfies and “uglies”, videos of blokes drinking, and photos of food” (rivlin).
Snapchat founders, Evan Spiegel and Reggie Brown, may be right that the majority of the photographs and videos sent are very G rated images of food or weird pictures. There cannot be a denial that inappropriate images are not being sent as well. If you were to give a phone to someone with permission to send whatever they want to someone with the promise that it will disappear in a mere seconds, there is still a large possibility that sexting will take place. Especially for situations when one wants to reveal something that they want private and not allow them to save. Snapchat does the same job as every other social media application without the risk of it coming back to you.
The overall results of sexting are moral and media panics. The moral panics for mostly youths are often a result of parental control being loss. The media creates panic by representing society in a negative outlook resulting “in power struggles over ideological values” (Draper 222). However, beyond just this application, the fact that sexting is such a common term in today’s society does cause concern.
As the course discussed the involvement of surveillance, self-surveillance and sousveillance in spaces, Snapchat does involve them. Surveillance can relate to the notion that society is survail what you do, and with recent news reports they expose the inner truths of Snapchat, revealing the site that promises disappearing images and complete security has been hacked more then twice, once revealing people’s accounts and images and another resulting in a way to get their received images back on their phone. As well as countless Tumblr accounts showcasing images of naked people who sent it through snapchat.”The right to sext is also about the right to demand that these images are kept private” (Hasinoff 163). Self-surveillance is the media etiquette that is socially created. By which one does or does not do something on this device even though this line is very thin. One determines themselves as what they want to reveal and share. Determining how far they want to push it. Snapchat is on the borderline of public/private spaces. It takes the public space by showcasing where you are and emerging the viewer into the space, however it is also used as a private space where it is intimate between two people. At least that is what they hope.
The overall purpose had good intensions, as a space to share the world around you with others, so that they may join the space and be with friends that aren’t physically with you. However, by allowing people to have complete control in what they send resulting in many photographs deemed inappropriate. The application has made improvements with updates that notify the person when someone takes a snapshot of your image through their phone.
Society defines images of nudity from sculptures and paintings as art; even naked images of people in biology books are defined as science. Then why is the concept of sending a nudity photograph through a device considered inappropriate and social unacceptable?
Draper, Nora R.a. “Is Your Teen at Risk? Discourses of Adolescent Sexting in United States Television News.” Journal of Children and Media (2011): 222. Print.
Gross, Doug. “Snapchat: Sexting Tool, or the next Instagram?” CNN. Cable News Network, 10 Jan. 2013. Web. 31 Mar. 2015. <http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/03/tech/mobile/snapchat/>.
Hasinoff, Amy A. “Should Teens Have the Right to Sext?” Ed. Charlene Elliott. Communication in Question: Competing Perspectives on Controversial Issues in Communication Studies. Ed. Joshua Greenberg. Toronto: Thomson Nelson, 2012. 163. Print.
Rivlin, Jack. “There’s an Obvious Reason Why Young People Don’t Use Snapchat for Sexting – Telegraph Blogs.” The Telegraph. N.p., 6 Jan. 2014. Web. 31 Mar. 2015. <http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/technology/jackrivlin/100011956/theres-an-obvious-reason-why-young-people-dont-use-snapchat-for-sexting/>.