A beneficial effect of Snapchat is, it allows people to have a new way of communicating with friends using pictures instead of words. People can show their friends where they are or what they’re doing.
It allows for more interaction among people outside of when they are usually together. It can also be a news source thanks to its new Snapchat Discover featuring The Wall Street Journal among others. 1,2 These beneficial effects affect everyone who has a Snapchat account and regularly use the app. Snapchat allows for society to stay more connected. Although there are beneficial effect of Snapchat, there are also harmful ones. Snapchat promotes a false sense of security, since the photos “disappear.” With this knowledge, people might do inappropriate things on the app including cyberbullying or “sexting”.
Although the photos temporarily disappear there is always the option to screenshot these pictures or chats. People who have ever been bullied on Snapchat either with the screenshot of a series of pictures sent or had mean or disrespectful things said to them over Snapchat are impacted by this effect.2 It affects the society because people could be badly hurt by the false sense of security on Snapchat.
“Contact lists, photos, locations, web browsing history, names, this is just a small amount of the data that Snapchat has on every one of their users.” (Edwards) 4 It uses people’s contact lists by going through and seeing which phone numbers are connected to a Snapchat account then suggests you add them as a friend or if one is not connected to an account they suggest for an invitation to be sent out to “invite” them. It can see people’s location every time they get on the app. It then places them on a map that their friends can see. This way users can see where their friends are and what they are doing.
4 A security and privacy concern is, Snapchat collects a huge amount of data on all their users and if this information gets into the wrong hands, lives could be at stake. For example, “Snapchat’s new feature, where people can see where and when their friends were last on the app could lead to terrorist attacks. The map shows where there are a high concentration of people with different colors of ‘heat’ and this would be a perfect tool for terrorists to see where they should attack.” (Schlesinger) 3,4