Opinion: Delete Snapchat

Are streaks really worth it?

Jasmine Lahooti, Guest Writer

In 2022, it is rare to see a phone without Snapchat on its home screen. As of July, Snapchat has won the hearts of nearly 347 million users, with much of the user base comprising teenagers. Approximately 122 million users are ages 13-17 years old. Teenagers may see Snapchat as a primary way to connect with their friends outside of school. However, many teenagers are unaware of the harms that Snapchat can cause.

Snapchat can be a constant distraction to students in the classroom. The need to check whether friends or significant others have replied to messages is too strong for some students to resist. Notifications appear on the home screen of your phone, screaming for you to answer them and diverting your attention from the lesson. 

Snapchat’s Snap Map feature allows users to see the exact location of their friends at all times. This is not safe, as the list of people who can see your location is not limited to your trusted real-life friends. Strangers who have added you can easily access where you live and monitor your whereabouts throughout the day. 

Snapchat also contributes to cyberbullying, social anxiety and suicide. The Los Angeles Times  reported that a 16-year-old boy committed suicide in June of 2020 after receiving anonymous taunts from his classmates. The National Center of Health reported that suicide is the second leading cause of death of US citizens ages 10–34, and Snapchat directly contributes to incidents of suicidality. 

Reports revealed that a 12-year-old from Santa Clara County died in 2020 after buying fentanyl from a 16-year-old boy through Snapchat. A memorial was held for a young San Diego Teen this past weekend for an overdose under similar circumstances to the Santa Clara teen, and a 16-year-old Oregon City student died in September of this year. 

Many teens argue that Snapchat is a great way to keep in touch with friends. However, there are many healthier, alternative ways to stay connected with friends. FaceTime, calls, iMessage conversations and in-person meetings are all safer and more secure ways to maintain friendships. We must remember that Snapchat is not the only way to communicate with friends and family. There are better ways to spend your time and keep in touch with the people you care about that do not put your life or mental health at risk. Snapchat should be deleted from your phone as the risks and negatives outweigh the positives.