Op-Eds Opinion

The Snapchat Generation: Crossing The Line

Olivia Morrell

Staff Writer


Image result for Official Snapchat Logo
Photo courtesy of windowscentral.com


To start, I must say that I am happy to see that you have taken your attention away from your mobile device for just a few minutes to read my piece.

A generational issue has increasingly grown for 21st century millennials to feel the need to document or record every single thing that they do. By no means am I trying to turn you away from your generational tendencies; Snapchat is a part of your community and a part of your lifestyle. It would be more of an inconvenience to not be involved than to just go with the flow of things, which, in this case, means participating in the everyday Snapchat dog filter selfie or posting an actionless story of your teacher babbling during class.

For those non-millennials reading this, Snapchat is just another form of communication that the younger generations are slightly addicted to. It’s not a bad thing necessarily, but I can guarantee that if you look around for two minutes you will be able to catch a young person in the act of “snapping” (a term used for taking a Snapchat picture). The turn-on to this app is that it disappears after ten seconds. So, theoretically, you can send a picture with text on it and after ten seconds or less, depending how many seconds you set it for, the picture goes away.

Many elders, especially parents, ask why it is even appealing to us to use such an app. The long and short of it is it just comes with the generation, and it is a form of communication where we can also send pictures and videos. It is simple and easy, mostly because the snap will disappear after you send it. For most people if they don’t want to risk someone taking a screenshot of their snapchat, then they will set the time for only a few short seconds.

However, I’m not just here to explain what Snapchat is or the cons to using it, but to simply talk about the line. Yes, there is a line that people, and a vast majority at that, play dirty near, or actually cross, especially during their weekend rituals.

Think back to when your parents were in college – obviously they deny it, but they were equally as wild as we are in their heyday. What’s different between our generation and theirs is the fact that they probably got in a lot less trouble and got away with far more than we are because they kept it more private. As a millennial myself, I understand why it has become such a habitual thing for us to do, but what this generation doesn’t see are the negative effects that posting such information can have.

An article from gomiblog.com is a perfect example of this, reading:

“Dani Mathers, that Playboy Playmate who apparently takes pictures of women in locker rooms, has been ‘charged with one count of invasion of privacy’ for her weird, entitled snapchat behavior back in July. Mathers posted a series of snapchat videos of a woman, reportedly aged in her 70s, fully nude and taking a shower in the locker room while Mathers snickered and said ‘If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.’

After massive backlash, Mathers posted some apology snaps and later tweeted, ‘..I love empowering women and have dedicated my life to that… I made a horrible mistake and am sorry.’ Mathers could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.”

Needless to say, Dani Mathers depicted a perfect example of crossing the line when it comes to Snapchat. Although this is more of a worst-case scenario when it comes to the repercussions of crossing the line, it is an important issue to address to millennials of the “Snapchat generation.”

I took a trip through my own Snapchat story line this weekend, and these are some examples I saw of crossing the line:

  • “1:05 AM That Man Tho” – recording of someone throwing up
  • “Yeah take an Uber across the lawn bro” – records drunk dude passed out on the couch at the town house who tried to Uber back over to the suites
  • “Guyo with the suit knows whats up”- recording a random guy sitting in front of him at a hockey game
  • Captions it with the tongue out emoji- recording her friend squatting down, holding her dress up, peeing outside of a car

Just a few Snapchats that show us exactly what some people were doing, when they were doing it, and how far they took it across the line. So, what exactly is this line and what qualifies a person to be considered as crossing it? Privacy. Such an unfamiliar concept to us millennials, but something that we need to readapt ourselves into being conscious of. Of course we want to put our friends on our Snapchat stories and record funny times so we can post them, but maybe we need to reassess on how to do so without violating other’s privacy when we have no right to be.

Of course there are two sides to this: recording your friends because you know they won’t care, and the “oh come on it’s funny” reasoning. Sure, it might be okay to post your friends on Snapchat, but don’t you think that sometimes we reach a barbaric level when our friend is throwing up, blacked out, or peeing outside of a car with a dress on?

I’m not saying that these things do not happen in college. Of course they do. But, where did the self-respect go? If we made a large clip of all of our Snapchat stories on our timeline throughout the weekend, I think that we would resemble a cage of wild monkeys at the zoo, as opposed to college students.

These are some funny memories, and a part of our college experience, but just take a small step backwards to save yourself some public respect, and don’t cross the line in posting our indecent actions on Snapchat for others to see. Next time you are about to post a Snapchat, think for a second about what can come out of posting it. In all reality, will you miss out on anything if you don’t post it?

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