When New York magazine needed a specific example of the popularity of Snapchat — “a wickedly simple new app for the iPhone that allows the user to take a photo, scribble or type on it, and then send it to a friend” (the catch: a few seconds after viewing it, it disappears) — they went to one place where it’s been wildly popular.
Staples High School.
Snapchat’s beauty — or ugliness — lies in selfies. Those are the (usually terrible-looking) self-portraits users take with their phones, then send to friends or post online.
“For kids more conscious than any generation before them of their faces’ various angles and how they might be rendered alien and grotesque onscreen, the chance to look ugly and not worry that it might end up haunting them on the Internet is actually revelatory,” New York reports.
Of course, this being 2012…
“One (Staples) senior girl, Allie, remembers receiving a picture of a female friend, naked, with her privates scribbled over. (It was a joke.),” New York reports.
And “a senior guy, who is openly gay, once received a nude photo from another male student, who is not openly gay. (Not a joke.) He glanced at it, but then in a heartbeat it was gone.”
According to Snapchat’s 22-year-old co-founder and CEO, Evan Spiegel, “it doesn’t actually make sense for sexting. Because you see the photo for, what, three seconds?”
“Snapchat is currently sharing more than 10 million images a day,” New York notes, “but already some students at Staples say they are growing sick of the app—people are overusing it, flooding other kids’ phones. And many were recently distressed to discover that it was possible to capture screen shots of received photos.
“Already, says a junior named Kelly, students have begun sending less ugly and, hence, less funny, photos….
“Another junior named Will, who claims he introduced the app to the school, is now considering quitting it altogether.”
So there you go, parents.
By the time you start worrying about Snapchat, it will be gone.
And you can start worrying about the next social media app you have no idea your kids are using.