[Essay] Snapchat Generation

Putri Amalia

Our generation can pretty much be summed up into one word, technology. Different from previous generations, millenials practically grow up with the use of technology every day. They have their own ways to express themselves as their world can’t be separated from technology, including internet. Nowadays, people don’t have to bring heavy books, or a pile of papers, after all it is just as easy to ‘Google’ everything.

To say that our generation would be highly influenced by social media can’t be anymore true. Though it is kind of ironic to say that social media, despite its name, actually make our generation less social. People spend a lot of time to post anything on their social media thus making them lack of social skills. They would rather text or chat, instead of making a real phone call. In this smartphone era, it is difficult not to communicate at all times since people have become way too attached to their smartphones. It is also hard to deny that almost all smartphone users keep on checking their social media accounts every few minutes, which eventually turning into habits.

According to a report by comScore, Facebook and Instagram are now the leading social media networks in terms of popularity. Trailing behind them, Snapchat, a new type of social media that ranks the third most popular among millenials. Snapchat is a unique social media application that allows you to take photos or videos, but quite different from Instagram as the photos and videos sent through the app will be deleted automatically in a period of time specified by the sender. There are some features that this app offers such as, different kind of filters that usually perfect for selfies, and editing your own snap by adding emoji stickers or drawing on them. In addition, you can easily be updated with your favorite celebrities on the app. Snapchat has some greatest things a social media can offer that no other ever has.

Aside from the fun of using Snapchat, there are also drawbacks of the app. As a photo-sharing app, Snapchat stated in a tweet back in 2013 that all the photos and videos sent through can be seen on their servers. This means that all the things you share on Snapchat are temporarily or even permanently saved on the internet. It also allows other users to take a screenshot of photos and videos you shared. Then again, where is the privacy? Another downside to it depends on how you are using the app as it should be. In September 2015, there was a viral case involving an 18-year-old teenager and an Uber driver. Christal McGee became a victim as she was driving over the speed limit behind her father’s Mercedes. McGee kept accelerating; reaching 113 miles per hour, then she took out her phone and opened the app. Snapchat has a filter that allows the users to check on their speed, so she went to see how fast she could go. When she was about to post it, she and the Uber driver, Wentworth, met in a crash. The accident caused Wentworth a brain damage whereas it was minor injuries for McGee. According to abcnews.go.com, McGee has been charged with a felony and an arrest warrant was already issued to her. The issue has been quite controversial as some people argue over the speed filter that Snapchat has.

As an ordinary Snapchat user, I don’t think that using the app is worthless. Let’s say when you have to quickly take photos, but your phone’s storage is almost full and camera doesn’t allow you to take any photos, you can just take them on Snapchat. I admit I do that myself pretty often. Frankly, I am not the type of person who posts everything I do in my daily life on Snapchat. The content I choose to post are mostly random stuffs, but most of the time they are either funny clips or travelling pictures. Other than that, I barely post any of my selfies unless there is a great filter. I don’t really pay attention about how my face looks like on Snapchat and that’s the fun in it. Despite all of that, I still believe the saying ‘nothing ever disappears on the internet,’ which is the reason why I always keep in mind to think twice before posting something.

It is more likely that our generation nowadays have fomo (fear of missing out) phenomenon going on. Nothing would feel good if you are the only one being left out. The only way to catch up with that is through the social medias. Though I can’t imagine how our generation would look like in the next 20 years, I am just hoping that we will create a better future and not letting technology take over our life. In any ways, I want to advise everyone out there to be extremely cautious and think before you capture and post.

Word count: 824 words

Reference(s):

· Personal Experience

· https://twitter.com/Snapchat

· http://techcrunch.com/2014/08/11/snapchat-is-now-the-3-social-app-among-millennials/

· https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/04/28/lawsuit-blames-snapchat-for-107-mph-crash-in-mercedes-caused-by-teen-girl-using-speed-filter/

· http://abcnews.go.com/US/teen-driver-sued-faces-criminal-charges-alleged-snapchat/story?id=39551935

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