The most recent Iphone App phenomenon has been the provocative yet silly, SnapChat. SnapChat is a picture messaging service, but the twist is that a person can choose how long the picture will be viewable, for example 3 seconds. This means that a person can send a “private” and fleeting picture to another, meaning that it can theoretically be as embarrassing and as, well, incriminating as a person wants. Typically, I personally will receive about seven to eight “snapchats” a day of my friends taking meaningless and silly “selfies.” What I have recently realized, however, is how customary it has become to constantly be taking pictures of ourselves. It is common to see countless students in the library and in the dining halls and on the sidewalk obviously taking pictures of themselves. But how is this silly media influencing us? Why are we so obsessed with ourselves? Does snap chat increase or decrease self objectification? In my psychology of gender class, we spend a great deal discussing how much we self objectify and where that motivation to do so comes from. I feel as if this form of silly media increases self objectification, which is not really what our age group needs. I mean, really aren’t we focused on ourselves enough?
Maybe I am taking this silly app too far, but I think it says something about our generation and about our culture that we take such pleasure in our own faces and feel the need to remind twenty others what we look like ten times a day. I admit, I am guilty of taking the casual snap chat. It is fun. It is stupid. But really? Is this just another way of communication, or is this a portal to other things?
Here is an article by the New York Times also discussing the recent SnapChat phenomenon:
Article about Snap Chat