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A&E News


If you have walked around campus at all lately, you have seen it: students taking ugly “selfies” on their phones. You may have been asked what you are doing when you willingly pose for an unattractive picture. Why would anyone want to let others see these ugly photos? Aren’t there hundreds of apps allowing people to fix their blemishes in pictures and make themselves look nicer?

Snapchat is the opposite of these apps. Its ten-second viewing limit encourages users not to care about what they look like in the picture that they can send to friends. This may seem like a foreign concept to Facebook and Instagram users who hope only to post the best pictures of themselves. But Snapchat founder, Evan Spiegel, made the app to encourage the opposite. “People are living with this massive burden of managing a digital version of themselves,” Spiegel said. ”It’s taken all of the fun out of communicating.”

As a  student in a Stanford design class, 22-year-old Spiegel dropped out of the school with only three credits shy of graduating. For the last two years, he and co-founder, Bobby Murphy, have been working on the app from Spiegel’s dad’s basement. Snapchat is free for now and used over 30 million times a day. On Thanksgiving, people were sending 1000 snaps every second.

There are obviously some problems with an app allowing people to send any picture that cannot be seen after ten seconds. While photos cannot be prevented or seen by the company, Snapchat can trace pictures sent and people can block others on Snapchat.

But for the most part, the app is used as it was intended here at Columbus Academy. Students like the idea of an app where no one cares what you look like. In an increasingly, self-conscious on-line generation, it is easy to create a false version of yourself by only posting perfect and interesting pictures.

“The main reason that people use Snapchat is that the content is so much better,” Spiegel argues. “We’re building a photo app that doesn’t conform to unrealistic notions of beauty or perfection but rather creates a space to be funny [and] honest.”

Snapchat has a spontaneity and truth to its content that Facebook and Instagram discourage. It allows users to be themselves, blemishes and all.

Written by Kendall Silwonuk’15


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