Sexting With Snapchat, Teenagers Prove They Aren't As Dumb As We Thought

teenagers party

Photo: Flickr/Hannah_Vdv

The problem with teenagers is that they’re terrible.One reason: they are solipsistic.

Another: their brains aren’t chemically programmed to fear death and its equivalencies yet.

A third: They have a little bit of money and nothing important to spend it on, so our marketers spend lots of time telling them how important it is to be cool (and that they can be cool if they buy stuff).

Combine these three factors and you have a group of culturally-enabled people who almost look like adults, but behave recklessly.

Sometimes, however, these dangerous beings surprise us, and act rationally.

The massive adoption of photo-sharing app Snapchat is one such instance. 

Snapchat, you’ll recall, is a photo-sharing app.

How it works: You take a photo and send it to a friend. The friend gets the photo. But then, after 3 seconds or so, the photo disappears. Snapchat is very popular. It came out in July, and it is currently number three in theiTunes App Store. 

The smart thing teenagers are doing is using it to send each other provocative pictures – “sexting.”

Sure, we’d all prefer teenagers do zero provocative things.

But if they are going to “sext” – good luck stopping them! – better that they do it in a mostly impermanent way, rather than through Facebook, Instagram, or texting.

That is the observation of Drew Breunig, who leads product at PlaceIQ and keeps a blog.

He writes:

The takeaway from Snapchat is that people are aware of the lifetime of web posting and they’re tired of creating things that last a lifetime.

This generation aren’t merely conscious of how they’re represented, they’re considering how that representation will age. That’s amazing. It flies in the face of the argument that privacy will shift radically, that embarrassing digital histories will be the norm.

So, bravo, teenagers!

Now, please use the same modicum of self-awareness to quit talking so loud during movies, and also turn down your earphones on the subway.

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