SNAP CHAT: Say cheese? or Say uh oh?

So the most recent social app your students may not be telling you about, is called Snap Chat.  Snap chat is a mobile app that allows the user to take a photo, set a timer of up to 10 seconds, scribble or put text on it, and send it to a friend or group of friends.  This app is catching on like wildfire.  You can imagine the wholesome entertainment this app fosters. (insert sarcasm)

Just check out how Snap chat promotes their app by the following picture.

It’s the perfect environment for “Sexting”.  In fact, check out this ad found on a college site that encourages the use of Snap Chat for sexting:

In an interview with Snap Chat’s CEO, he explained that sexting is not the motivation of the app.

According to Snapchat’s 22-year-old co-founder and CEO, Evan Spiegel, “it doesn’t actually make sense for sexting. Because you see the photo for, what, three seconds?”
Snapchat photos don’t last very long.

Regardless of the cavalier response of CEO Spiegel in regards to the transmission of photos this app is trafficking to it’s users phones, there are several reasons to be concerned with this app.  Snap chat arms immature minors (there are no age restrictions) with an easy way to send photos of themselves and others that could have long lasting consequences past the 1 to 10 second timer on the app.

This app allows you to send risky photos to friends or groups of friends, seemingly without the consequences of regret.  Or is there? Read the snap chat FAQ’s regarding saving images. Also note that the app doesn’t mention that persons can utilize third party devices like camera’s or another person’s phone to capture screenshots without the individual’s knowledge.


Is there any way to view an image after the time has expired?

No, snaps disappear after the timer runs out. You can save snaps that you capture by pressing the save button on the preview screen.

What if I take a screenshot?

Screenshots can be captured if you’re quick. The sender will be notified immediately.

Snap chat is currently sharing more than 10 million images a day.

Questions for students:


I’m having a hard time being convinced that there is a good reason to use Snap Chat. I usually can figure out some creative ways to “redeem” a piece of technology for good. I suppose you could take a picture of scripture and send it out to your friends for quick motivation and encouragement. Although they better read it quick or it will be gone in 10 seconds.  Or you could take a quick pic of your favorite “fish face” funny face and send it for a quick laugh…however—that’s not why this app is so popular.  It’s the self-destruct timer that makes this app so appealing.

If you have to put a self-destruct timer on your picture in order for you to want to send it to your friends, then you most likely don’t need to send it.

People have fun applying various “filters” to their pictures on instagram.  I would encourage students to apply some “filters” to this app.

FILTER 1: Would I send this photo if I knew it would survive past my time limit of 1-10 seconds?

FILTER 2: Does sending this photo encourage sexual thoughts in the mind of the receiver?

FILTER 3: Last but definitely not least, let’s make sure we apply the filter of scripture to the activities we are participating in.


1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 (ESV) For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor,

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Philippians 4:8 (NLV) And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Hopefully this is helpful in equipping you to make a decision on if you or a student you know should participate in Snap chatting.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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