Snapchat has been the subject of much controversy in the past – mostly from people who have never used it. I know a lot of people have been vocal in their criticism of the ease with which teens could use it to send pictures of their naughty bits to one another. To be honest, they haven’t ever needed SnapChat to do that. And, in a further moment of not-so-surprising honesty, I’ve never used Snapchat for that either.
It’s like anything: you can use it sensibly, and be careful who you add to your contacts, or you can be an idiot and endanger any bit of credibility you ever had. Snapchat is definitely not alone in that regard.
Contrary to all the negative press it has had, Snapchat is actually pretty cool.
The process is simple:
- Take a snap, choose who you want to send it to, and send it.
- If you want everyone to be able to see it, you add it to your “story”.
- If you don’t, people will only see your snap if you actually send it to them individually.
- You can choose how long you want the photo or video to last. Once the time you set expires, it’s gone.
It’s important to remember that people can take a screenshot, and people can be offended, so common sense and decency are still required.
I have great fun using Snapchat for quick, easy contact with my family and friends. It’s also a great way to quickly and easily share a moment in your day in ways that are hard to otherwise express.
In that respect. It’s super duper effective.
It’s actually great for introverts because we can communicate meaningfully without actually having to make, or answer, a phone call. I have found that if you send enough Snapchats, they know you’re okay and what you’re doing, and don’t actually try to call anywhere near as often. That may sound awful, but if you ask any introvert you know, they’ll tell you it’s a fact of life: talking on the phone for any length of time is hard, especially if you’re tired or unwell.
I also use it to share my comedic genius with the world. You’ve got to take your opportunities where you can get them, after all.
My absolute favourite use of Snapchat, though, is when my family use it to send me baby spam. I’m one of those aunties who can never get enough pics of my babies so Snapchat offers a great way for them to send me pictures without all the cranky “we don’t want baby spam” whiners on Facebook and Instagram getting their noses out of joint. Snapchat makes it easy to be a lot more direct and “one on one” with your pictures.
You don’t even have to take a photo every time. You can just use the instant message function if that’s all you want to do. But then… why wouldn’t you take a photo every time when you’ve got those filters to play with?
Seriously, the Snapchat filters are fantastic. One minute I’m a washed out, permanently exhausted 50-something English teacher, and the next, I’m a cat… or an emu… or a pirate… or whatever the filters of the day offer. Sometimes, I have instant makeup and smoother, younger skin. Sometimes I can add a piercing or a tattoo. Finding out what the filters are each day is as much fun as using them.
Its easy to edit a picture using the menu at the top right of whatever picture you take This allows you to:
- add text, labels, and/or stickers
- crop your photo
- doodle or write on your picture
- attach a URL or website to your image
- cut out part of your picture to create a sticker
You can also easily save any picture you like to your phone’s camera roll, using the little down arrow icon at the bottom left of the image.
There isn’t really a lot that annoys me about Snapchat, but I probably should mention:
- The silly, click-bait stuff they post on the “discover” page. Ugh. Once I’ve looked at my friends’ stories, I swipe away from the page.
- On specific dates – Christmas, New Year, that kind of thing – the ’Snapchat Team’ send pictures or videos that you have to watch to get rid of them. Some of them are clever. Others… not so much.
- Occasionally, there will be a filter that makes me look uncannily like my brother. I’m really not so keen on those, but it is kind of fun freaking out his daughters and our sisters with the pictures. And no… I’m not going to show you what I mean!
For me, the frustrations are very minor compared to the fun I have with the app. It’s a keeper.