Make it snappy: Snapchat craze overtakes Syracuse University

Micah Benson | Art Director

College students across the country are asking the question: “Why simply text when you can snap a picture with your message?”

“It’s easier for me to Snapchat someone than text sometimes,” said Elyse Viviano, a sophomore communications design major. “There are so many people in my phone that I Snapchat that I would never text in a million years.”

Viviano says she likes Snapchat because it is less serious than traditional texting.

The art of Snapchatting is becoming as normal as sending a quick text, and students at Syracuse University are no exception to this national trend.

Snapchat is a smartphone application that allows users to send a picture with added text that will only appear for one to 10 seconds once opened. After that, it’s gone forever. The app is designed for instant photo-sharing. Released in September 2011 by a Stanford University student, it has been growing increasingly popular ever since.

Students can be seen all around campus, in hallways and even classrooms making strange faces at their phones and Snapchatting their friends.

Snapchat is known for being one of the latest apps to reach a phenomenal level of success, but the app is also known for more controversial reasons.

Although Snapchatted photos are on a timer before they are instantly deleted, users can take a screenshot, saving the photo to the receiver’s phone. If a screenshot is taken of a Snapchat, a notification is sent to the sender to alert them of the recorded shot. For these reasons, Snapchat has gained a reputation as a platform for “sexting.”

According to an article on CNN.com, several Snapchat-themed blogs have released fullly and semi-nude images of Snapchat users. One blog titled “Snapchat Sluts” put out an open call for scandalous shots, according to the article.

The virtual line of security of Snapchat is being blurred more and more as it continues to become more of a sexting aid.

The fact that images disappear after an allotted amount of time makes many teenagers feel they are safe to send pictures they may not normally send.

However, the security of Snapchat has recently been questioned about its inability to stop photos from being saved. According to the New York Daily News, there are ways to save Snapchats onto a computer by using file management software before the picture is even opened.

Though Snapchat has gained a somewhat-unconventional reputation because of those who use the app for promiscuous reasons, many amid the student population think Snapchat has a positive reputation.

“I love Snapchat,” said Mia Medico, sophomore entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises major. “I’m obsessed with it because it’s so fun and different than just texting.”

Senior international relations major Lucia Urizar agreed.

“Snapchat is great. It’s a very easy and light way to communicate with friends. I do it all the time,” she said.

Medico and Urizar aren’t the only students who love the trend. The craze has grown to include more than just the female population. Chris Proctor, a sophomore exercise science major, likes to use Snapchat to add humor to conversations.

“It’s always funny when you can make ugly faces or take funny pictures and snap them to your friends,” said Proctor. “And I get some really hilarious Snapchats, too.”

Proctor wasn’t the only student who likes Snapchat for its humorous qualities. Gabby Garofalo, a junior public relations and child and family studies major, talked about another amusing side of Snapchat: watching other people Snapchat.

“Holding their phones out in front them and making faces is my favorite,” Garofalo said. “It’s so funny because we all do it.”

Garofalo admitted that sending these faces to anyone she knows is one of the elements she loves because of the advertised notion that the image will disappear after just a moment.

Students have different reasons for Snapchatting, but a consensus is clear: students love to Snapchat. Between the limited time frame offered by the application and the light-hearted nature of the app itself, the student reaction has been a largely positive one.

Said Viviano: “I haven’t met a single person with a smartphone who doesn’t like to Snapchat. It’s just so fun.”


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