Feature

The allure and peril of Snapchat

Another killer app is sweeping through high schools and colleges.

Craig Kanalley
HuffingtonPost.com

Another killer app is sweeping through high schools and colleges, said Craig Kanalley. The photo-sharing app Snapchat lets its rabid followers send pictures that self-destruct after 10 seconds, leaving none of those telltale traces that torpedo relationships and future careers. Users say that because any image disappears, “they can take it less seriously, worry about how they look less, and simply have fun.” Ah, the folly of youth. Basic fact: “Social media isn’t erasable. By nature, it’s social, it’s being shared, and you can’t control what the other side will do with it.” Snapchat is supposed to detect when a recipient tries to take a screenshot of your photo. But some “hacks” are already circulating that defeat the screenshot detector and preserve Snapchat’s allegedly fleeting images. And users could always “take another device—a separate camera—hover over the screen, and snap a photo to save it.” Even with a clever app like Snapchat, there are always ways to save the evidence. Let’s hope Snapchat enthusiasts realize that in 2013, “there’s no such thing as temporary on the Internet or on phones. When you send something, to anyone, you should consider it permanent.”

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