Snapchat Demystified

JenOnLife snapcode

I did it! I got a Snapchat account. That isn’t the medium I wanted to be on but I wanted to see what that social media platform was all about.

WHY I GOT A SNAPCHAT ACCOUNT

Since I have a teenager, I wanted to see what the lure was of having a Snapchat account. You hear on the media how teens are using it as an inappropriate form of communication since your photo lasts for a couple of seconds and disappears. After a few seconds of viewing the photo and POOF! It’s gone. Unless your friends decide to screenshot that photo onto their phone (and that lasts a lifetime).

I didn’t want to be scared to use a medium that all my nieces and nephews and the rest of the teens out there are using. Yes I don’t have any friends who are on Snapchat. So it was a big FAIL when I tried adding my niece as a friend. It didn’t surprise me that she didn’t add me as a friend. I won’t hold that against her. 😉

SNAPCHAT IS A BIG TIME SUCK

Here I was playing with this social media platform and I get why teens use it. Granted, it wastes a lot of your time, but it’s FUN to use. Especially all the video filters they have available. You can make yourself look old, blow “I heart you” messages, have your hair catch on fire, etc. It’s funny and fun to watch yourself act silly. You can also add a bunch of emojis, text, and doddle on your “snap”. What’s cool is that you can download the “snaps” (photos and videos) you take and post it later on the social media platform of your choice like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. You can also chat with your friends by text on the app.

A SNAPCHAT FILTER: How to deal with stress

A SNAPCHAT FILTER: Multicolor water fall

You can also DISCOVER quick stories from CNN, People, Cosmopolitan, National Geographic, Mashable, etc. Yup another time sucking element.

TOUGH SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM TO BE ON IF YOUR AREN’T A CELEBRITY, A COOL BRAND, OR A TEEN

Because I don’t have friends that use Snapchat, I started adding celebrities as my friends like Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson, etc to see how they use the platform. For the most part they take a lot of videos and you get to see what they did that day. The celebrity “snaps” get posted on their “Story” which allows “everyone” to view their story for an unlimited number of times for only 24 hours. Once the time frame is up, there’s nothing to see unless the celebrity posts another story the following day.

You can set it up so that either “everyone”, only “my friends”, or select a group of friends or only one friend to see your story. You can setup your account so only “my friends” can send me “snaps” or “everyone”. You can also “block” other snapchatters you don’t want to communicate with or see your snaps.

THE ILLUSION OF PRIVACY

Just cause the “snaps” (photo or video) you take last for a couple of seconds for your friends to see, I don’t believe those photos and videos are truly gone. I’m sure it’s backed up on a server in the cloud. Yes no one else can access your “snaps” but Snapchat folks. So I would still recommend following the same social media safety rules that you would on a Facebook or Instagram account. Always think twice before posting a picture / video you wouldn’t want your parents or future employers to see. If you use that rule, then you’ll be using Snapchat responsibly.

CONCLUSION

Now that I have a Snapchat account and know how to use it, I’m more confident about the platform and am no longer scared to use it. It also helps me talk to my kids about social media safety. I still wouldn’t want my kids to use it but we take “snaps” together on my account. My kids and I make fun videos using the filters. Getting to laugh with my kids while making videos is priceless.

If you have a Snapchat account, feel free to add me as a friend. My snapcode is pictured above.

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