Kelsey Aultman, Features Editor

Snapchat is a popular social media app that is a source of communication and an outlet for users to share with their friends what they’re doing, where they are and who they’re with. Although Snapchat provides a quick form of connection and expression, it has flaws that can be harmful to its users.
Snapchat has a feature that allows pictures and videos— “snaps”—- and text messages to disappear either after 24 hours or right after they are received. This provides an easy way to send forms of bullying, harassment or inappropriate content. Because this is possible, users could be encouraged to send these things to whomever they want. It also makes it difficult for parents to monitor what their kids are doing on the app. This app is widely used by teenagers and sometimes children that are below the required age. Because of this it’s important that parents are able to monitor what’s sent and received, but because content disappears, the app can be harmful to the young users.
Another problem with Snapchat is that it doesn’t have filters on what can and can’t be posted publicly.
Some accounts are created to post sexually explicit content. If a min adds one of these accounts as a friend on accident or because of carelessness, they will be exposed to content that they shouldn’t be seeing at that age. It’s also possible for users to post graphic content. Although it’s easy to just remove this person, what’s already been viewed can still do damage.
Just like other social media apps, it can be easy to impersonate people. All someone would have to do is create a username with a different person’s name and make a Bitmoji or avatar that looks at least little similar to that person. Anyone can socially hurt a person by saying and posting things that the impersonated person would not post or say.
Though Snapchat can be a quick way to communicate and even make new friends, it is an easy outlet to bully, harass or post harmful content.
Because Snapchat is so widely used for expression, socializing and communication, teenagers and impressionable minds will still use it. It’s a popular app that will continue to be used; however, parents should be aware of what their child is consuming and if the app is being used appropriately.