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Benefits and Limitations of Snapchat
Written by Amy Park | Published. 2021.05.03 18:12 | Count : 921
[Snapchat. https://www.flickr.com/photos/148443584@N05/33257887862]

In the 21st century that we live in, social media has become an essential part of teenagers’ lives. According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, ninety percent of teenagers ages 13-17 use social media today. Many social media apps are the foremost reason for the popularity. Even out of those apps, Snapchat is the most well known. In the United States, Snapchat was the most important social network for 34 percent of the United States’ teens in 2020, which was ranked in the first place among other social media apps. So, how does Snapchat actually stand out from other social media apps?

According to HuffPost, the reason why Snapchat is so popular among teenagers is the fact that “Snapchat is personal”. 

[Interview answers from Leah Park; Photo credit: Amy Park]

Leah Park, who is in 10th grade, also thought similar to the response “One of the features of Snapchat that is outstanding is disappearing messages after seeing them” from the HuffPost, which is the technique of Snapchat that makes it personal. She stated that with other social media apps especially Instagram, many of her friends screenshotted the chat (when it contained personal information of her) and sent it to other people, which was stressing her a lot, even though the friends did not mean to expose her. However, because Snapchat deletes chats after seen once and gives notifications if the chat was screenshotted, she is able to communicate with her friends more comfortably and safely. After explaining the privacy of Snapchat, Leah also mentioned the target audience of Snapchat. “it mainly targets young age groups unlike Instagram or Facebook, which comes in the use of pictures”, she predicted. With Snapchat’s idea of using photos to communicate with peers, she thinks this has naturally made it unique and lured teenagers to use the app more. 

[Interview answers from Leah Park; Photo credit: Amy Park]

Although there are evident positive aspects of Snapchat, some negative aspects need to be considered when using the app. Leah said, “the biggest con of Snapchat is that it is difficult to add friends on the app,” which is because adding people on Snapchat requires their ID or code that can be complicated to find. Adding on, she also mentioned that “it is difficult to know if you are adding the right person because you can’t see anyone’s stories/personal info before you add them and they add you back”. Because of this, she worries that there might be suspicious people using Snapchat in a wrong way. 

[Interview with Mi Y. Photo credit: Amy Park]

Furthermore, when viewing this from another perspective in a different age group, I interviewed Mi Young Park, 43 years old. After explaining what Snapchat is, she definitely thought that there were few things that teenagers should watch out for as a concerned parent. “I believe that the best way to be successful at school is improving writing skills while Snapchat disturbs this.” This is because of the idea that Snapchat mostly uses photos instead of texting with words. In addition, she also is confident that it will demotivate teenagers with school work. “With the fact that Snapchat was placed first for the most important social media, I worry about the addiction.” She feels that this will make teenagers harder to focus on studies, which is a significant issue for students who need to learn. Therefore, she thinks Snapchat is beneficial to teenagers only if they “set a time limit for using Snapchat.” She explained that students would be able to focus on school work in this way, which then she thinks Snapchat is an essential app that all teenagers should have. 

Even now, Snapchat is still trending among teenagers. While there are both positive and negative impacts of Snapchat, we need to get used to the 21st century that uses social media apps to communicate with people. If everyone is aware of the benefits and some harmful effects of Snapchat, there is no need to worry about the consequences of using Snapchat. 

Amy Park
Grade 10
Seoul Foreign School

Amy Park  student_reporter@dherald.com

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