How do 13-year-olds, Snapchat’s core demographic, use the photo app?
Ruby Karp, a teenager in New Yorker, documented on Mashable how she and her friends use Snapchat.
“Snapchat is used in multiple ways, but this is how I see it being used between me and my other teen friends: for fun (ugly selfies, silly pictures, etc.), or in a way my mother would be horrified to see children use it (she calls it a ‘porn portal’),” Karp writes.
She says she and her friends are too young and know better than to send nude selfies back and forth on Snapchat. A bigger concern is the bullying that happens on the social network. And the bullying usually evokes FOMO — fear of missing out — among peers.
Karp describes how the bullying goes down:
I just graduated eighth grade, so when my friends get in trouble, it isn’t typically for sending “nudes,” because, well, we’re 13 and 14. Instead, Snapchat can be used as a bullying method. Often people post “stories” of who they are with, what they are doing, etc. This can leave kids out and make them feel upset. (Mindy Kaling said it best: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Yes, yes they are.)
I try not to say anything risky in text messages, and I think bullies have the same method: They’re saving it for Snapchat. I have received hurtful Snapchats, but I have no proof that they ever said anything to me, because the picture went away in 10 seconds.
Other than the bullying, Karp and her friends are big fans of Snapchat. It makes their text messages disappear, and their parents can’t figure out a way to comment on photos.
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