by Lauren Finkle
Snapchat has insidiously worked its way into practically every smartphone-owning teen’s pocket. It offers the chance to take pictures of yourself at any time of the day or night, and to embarrass others by saving pictures that were never meant to be seen by anyone else. This application also kills conversations and strains relationships.
What could be more off-putting that being interrupted by someone pulling out their phone, taking a picture of herself, and typing in the corresponding caption? By the time she is done, she does not even know what topic you are discussing.
I do not oppose taking pictures. It is wonderful that we have the ability to capture both the special and the ordinary moments of our lives. That someday, our children can see what we looked like for the dance and what we looked like when we were simply goofing off. But this inane need to document our every facial movement, every ticking of the clock, is ridiculous and detrimental to our societal well-being. How this use of technology will change our current structures remains to be seen, but I do not see how it will improve society.
Not only does Snapchat make for strained relationships, it also encourages a conceited mindset. It whispers, You’re so beautiful that you should take a picture of your every move. Even when you’re not smiling, you rival Cindi Crawford.
Maybe it does not quite say that, but whatever it is whispering comes awfully close. Women should be proud of themselves: of their features, of their figures, of their heritage. But not to the extent that they begin to idolize themselves, or forget how important it is—how necessary to a positive society it is—to care about others.
Being raised in a Portuguese family, this doctrine that others come first can sometimes—well, frequently—trample your own needs. So it needs to be used cautiously. That being said, when you discover the balance between caring for others and caring for yourself, everyone is happy. You have friends (unlike those Snapchatters, who have driven their comrades away by the incessant picture-taking and self-glorification).
If we continue on this way, people are soon going to live in their own, Snapchat-driven bubbles because they cannot stand how annoyingly conceited everyone else is (not realizing that they mirror their pet peeves). Snapchat, to me, is a tangible symbol of where our generation is heading. Influenced by technology and the changing morals of the time, we are becoming more self-absorbed and less aware of the events and struggles occurring in the world around us. If Snapchat, and in this hypothetical situation all technology, were to dominate, society would collapse. Where would the food kitchens, the Goodwills, the hospitals driven by caring people go?
I ask you now to make an earnest attempt to change your behavior. I am not demanding that you delete your Snapchat app. But use it wisely. When you are in someone else’s company, refrain! Make them feel special. And when you are in bed alone with blue eye cream smeared all over your face, with the urge to take a picture and send it to someone else (why, I am just not sure), I give you my blessing.