Snapchat isn’t broken, your friends just suck

Snapchat

I have exchanged a handful of Snaps with my 19 year-old sister. They are among the most innocent images the app has likely ever seen. We send selfies of our weird or tired faces with scribbles and crude notes. They are neither the most efficient means of communicating, nor the most visually stimulating.

They are silly, they are fun, and they are often meaningless – because we know that in moments they will disappear. That is, of course, the entire concept: Photos you don’t have to care about and only momentarily enjoy. But we’re learning otherwise.  

There’s been plenty of discussion about Snapchat’s privacy problem lately, and rightfully so. After a slew of investigations found that the videos and photos posted within the app are indeed recoverable, the latest surfacing of a site called Snapchat Leaked is basically the realization of every Snapchatter’s worst nightmare.

It’s about fixing the human conscious, our hubris, a general lack of self-awareness. And to that I say, good luck everybody.

The site, run by a group of Brits scrambling to keep up with their traffic woes, is simply a call for submissions of Snaps. Any images sent via Snapchat that were screen captured are welcomed by the site, where unwitting users are being outed and embarrassed en masse.

There are body parts galore, as well as humiliating admissions. And while the creators insist it’s only in good fun, those who find their photo on Snapchat Leaked probably don’t agree.

Of course, the finger of blame is being pointed squarely at Snapchat. The app has insisted time and time again that it’s as secure as it can be, and now it’s failing to protect us! But turn that finger around, everybody, because there is only one thing that should be on the other side: You.

Not you as in you, you as in humans. Or human nature, if you want to get into semantics. There’s no big admission here about Snapchat like there was when Path secretly was pulling in our address books or Facebook used our posts in Sponsored Stories without permission. These were clear violations of users trust and privacy, and both times the platforms backtracked and fixed the issues.

This time, there’s nothing to fix … unless you have a way to fix horrible people. (I do have a way, actually, but I’m told it’s illegal.)

In a world without people – just robots … robots with smartphones who are between the ages of 15 and 23 – Snapchat works. The emotionless, personality-less, unvengeful robots take selfies and draw mustaches on them and send them off into the ether for their robot friends and family to enjoy. Then those Snaps disappear and they move on. Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world. Instead we live in a world where teenagers and young adults cheat on each other, or hit the wrong Snap recipient, or betray their best friends, or seek revenge through humiliation. In that same world, connectivity is everywhere, all the time, telling us simultaneously that it can give us a little shot of Internet fame and the promise of impermanence.

The Internet fame may be real (yet short-lived and usually contained to your immediate social circle). The impermanence never is.

The only problem with Snapchat is that we are all human and fallible. That alone causes the “leaking” of photos we thought were going to disappear. At this point, we should not have to be told that the Internet doesn’t forget. There is no hard delete for this sort of thing.

So if you want to fix Snapchat, it’s not about privacy features or site moderation or a rewritten Terms of Service. It’s about fixing the human conscious, our hubris, a general lack of self-awareness. And to that I say, good luck everybody. Just keep taking your chances and hoping that dick pic doesn’t get uploaded.

Or you could just start sending ridiculous pictures of yourself holding a tiny llama to your little sister. Then everybody wins. 

sister snaps(Images © 2003-2013 Shutterstock, Inc. All rights reserved.)

 

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.

Smart Home

Airbnb sorry to guest for how it dealt with undisclosed security camera

An Airbnb guest recently found a surveillance camera in his rental apartment that hadn't been properly disclosed in the listing. The firm admits its initial response to the guest's complaint was poor, but has since made amends.
Movies & TV

From premiere date to footage: Here's all we have on 'Game of Thrones' season 8

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Social Media

Looking to share some content? Here's how to repost on Instagram

Ever seen a cool picture on Instagram that you wanted to share? There's no official means of reposting content on Instagram, but there are a few workarounds. We break down the two most logical choices for getting the job done.
News

Japanese billionaire splashes the cash to break retweet record

Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa has proved again he has a knack for self-publicity after launching a cash-prize contest to break the retweet record. Maezawa is the same man who is hoping to go to the moon with SpaceX.
Photography

Photoshop fail gives Aussie leader two left feet in official portrait

The Aussie prime minister doesn't have two left feet, despite an official photograph of the leader and his family suggesting otherwise. It was, of course, a Photoshop fail, and the embarrassing snafu was soon trending on Twitter.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Social Media

Instagram now lets you post to multiple accounts in one tap

Instagram for iPhone now lets you post to multiple accounts at the same time. It's not the regram feature that many users have been asking for, but it could prove useful for some users who manage more than one profile.
Social Media

No yolk! A photo of an egg has become the most-liked post on Instagram

Until this weekend, the most-liked post on Instagram was of Kylie Jenner's baby daughter, which has around 18 million likes. It's now been knocked off the top spot not by a stunning sunset or even a cute cat, but by an egg.
Social Media

Invite your friends — Facebook Events can now be shared to Stories

Facebook is testing a way to make plans with friends to attend an event -- through Stories. By sharing an event in Facebook Stories, users can message other friends interested in the event to make plans to attend together.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.