Ahhhh, the fun you can have with a disappearing photo.
Snapchat, a picture and video messaging service, describes itself as a way to share moments with your partner and your friends. Chances are, if you don’t have this app on your phone yet, you’ll have it soon and will need to learn how to use Snapchat.
What makes this app so special? The pictures or video clips you send to your significant other via Snapchat automatically disappear within 10 seconds. Yes, you read that right. The photo or video clip you send will cease to exist once the recipient views it.
So, why would someone want this added layer of privacy? There are multiple reasons, including the obvious:
1. It’s perfect for sending racy photos.
One obvious perk of a disappearing photo messaging service is that it paves the way for you to send a photo to your partner that may be a little risque or suggestive. Be warned, though, that no app is infallible and there are ways in which these photos can come back to haunt you.
For example, if the recipient takes a screenshot of the picture or if the recipient takes a photo of the snapshot with another device. There’s also a rumored repository where hackers can go to retrieve your snaps, but should we really be surprised? (NEVER assume you have a privacy interest in anything that involves technology!)
Still, Snapchat is a safer, more secure alternative to social media for sharing moments with your friends — or intimate moments with your significant other. Just be careful what you snap.
It’s also important to realize that Snapchat, which was created in 2011 by two Stanford University students, is good for so much more than just “sexting” and was not created for that purpose. During a time where an increasing amount of teens are starting to rebel against Facebook, Snapchat offers an alternative to posting photos to your friends that may come back to haunt you.
Another plus? Worried parents, beware: Snapchat creators have even created a parenting guide to ensure that the app is safe for children.
Anyone who’s ever had to go through their phone to delete photos because they’ve saturated their iCloud space understands the sheer annoyance of managing your photos. It can be tedious and stressful to rummage through thousands of files on your phone to delete photos of the sunset from your ex-boyfriend’s back porch, puckered up kiss photos during a night out, or 3,000 calorie gastropub meals you scarfed down 2 years ago.
With Snapchat, these photos magically disappear forever from your device so you never have to see them or sort through them again. If you do decide you want to save a photo, there’s even an option for that.
3. You can pick and choose who sees what you post.
Have you ever gotten a mass picture text message from someone that was also sent to ten other people you don’t know? Then your phone vibrates with text replies from strangers all day?
Well, Snapchat saves you from this chain of awkwardness by allowing you to send your snap to multiple recipients from a list of friends without those friends being able to see who else it is sent to. Snapchat picture messaging is also way faster because it involves fewer steps when sending a photo.
4. You can edit your photo.
Snapchat allows you to edit your photos in a way that is different from another popular picture app, Instagram. Snapchat, unlike Instagram, is not a social networking site — it’s just a picture messaging service, but it still allows you to make edits to your photo.
For example, if you want to draw a line to point out something funny or draw a mustache on your selfie, you can do that without posting it for the world to see. You also write the caption for your photo, a great option when you want to send a picture message to your loved one. Now you can write “I’m sorry” or “I love you” or even “I can’t wait until you get home” right on your snapshot.
5. You can be funny and your true self.
Snapchat frees you from the stress of creating a perfect image of a life on social media — which we all do, consciously or subconsciously. With Snapchat, gone are the days when you need to take 10 different “selfie” snaps that automatically save to your phone, in hopes that you look perfect before posting it on Facebook or sending it to your boyfriend.
Now you can just smile and be yourself, without worries that your photo is going to be a permanent fixture of your social media identity. Snapchat gives you the freedom to be yourself free from fear of what others think, what random friends will see it on your newsfeed, or what may come back to haunt you. This freedom and level of fun restore what we have lost in our addiction to technology and social media — the chance to be our authentic selves.
Snapchat fosters the kind of sincerity and good-hearted humor that is needed in any real relationship. That freedom to be who you really are, and to have fun while doing it, maybe just the thing to spice up and lighten up your love life.