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  • Snapchat: The Sign of A Bubble?

    When I ask my university students all their hands go up in answer to the question: "Do you use Snapchat".

    Snapchat has a reputation for being a sexting app, and again, my university students suggest that this is the case. I have no cell/smart phone so I cannot look into this more closely.

    The valuation of Snapchat at $19 billion by a VC firm is obviously nonsense, but Alibaba is rumoured to have dumped $200 million into the company.

    Are we looking at the next Twitter here?

    What do your friends use Snapchat for (no pictures, please)?

    It certainly suggests the search for tools that will enable anonymity for users but here I doubt the market will ultimately deliver. Corporations deliver spying-all-the-time on the Internet so it is hard to see how or why Snapchat will turn out any different, particularly when hackers are added to the equation.
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  • #2
    Re: Snapchat: The Sign of A Bubble?

    Visual sexting and other bs. Quite sad actually. The potential for sharing great photos seems to have been lost in the sexual craze. :(
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    • #3
      Re: Snapchat: The Sign of A Bubble?

      I do not use snap chat, I'm an old fogie by comparison with most of my peers (being just three to five years older I guess makes that difference in the digital age). However, I do have peers who use it often. From my limited second-hand knowledge it was used as a means to communicate emotions and nuance that text simply can't. Often times it was sending an expression in context of a greater conversation, or trying to convey a short story through pictures.

      I feel the sexting aspect of it is just an evolution of the latent sexual liberation of the last few decades tied with the newer and newer generations, combined with how much of our culture is now digital and 'always connected'. Nothing really wrong with it even if we can consider it banal or base (come-on people we are decades post Queen Victoria, lets not be so prudish now, sex isn't evil or sinful).

      On the economics of it all. Much of these digital things start out with social aspirations and I feel are innately anti-market (internet, free-access, blah blah) because they are created for popularity first and then they try to shoehorn monetization which people rebel against. I think the case can be made that the internet is driving open source, market-less, products and the "powers that be (ie our market culture)" want to try to adapt them back into the system.

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      • #4
        Re: Snapchat: The Sign of A Bubble?

        Most of my students (at high school) use it for sending pictures. yes, some are sexting, but some is just sending silly pictures.

        Here is one that one of my students forwarded on to me. yes, that is me teaching.
        AIR JORDAN 2 by skylark28, on Flickr


        Other times, they just send silly pictures back and forth during the day. I've also seen (of course) them send pictures of test questions around - hence the no phones out during test rule... but of course, I usually have about 20 versions of the same test... :-D
        "Sympathy means a lot, coming from Kulmar. I didn't think it was possible.
        Good luck getting rid of your disease. If you're infected, though, stay away--I can't afford to be a zombie right now.
        " Ednos


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        • #5
          Re: Snapchat: The Sign of A Bubble?

          It's main feature at the start was its ability to share private pictures.

          You receive a picture. It's stays up for a limited time, then is gone for ever. It also knows if you screen shot your phone, take a picture of a picture. Telling the sender it was saved.

          Because of this it gained popularity.
          doYouEvenLuftwaffe

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          • #6
            Re: Snapchat: The Sign of A Bubble?

            When I first got it, it was because my girlfriend had it and we used it for, well, you know. Since we broke up (~2 years ago) I've used it among a couple friends sending random things, nice sunrises, certain funny things, stuff like that, nothing too special. It's definitely used by people interested in each other for flirting purposes though, and it's pretty good at it. Everything Cougar said is correct as well.

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            • #7
              Re: Snapchat: The Sign of A Bubble?

              I think snapchat has two uses in today's world:

              Sexting.

              And something women make guys do.

              Most of the guys I work with or know have snapchat. It's not because they like it, nor because they want it. It's because their wife/girlfriend want them to use it and it specifically to text. Be it a mechanism to investigate what your significant other is doing or just to see another person's world for a moment... I think it is booming because women are pushing the idea onto men and people are using it for sexting. Anything beyond that is happening because of one of the original activities.

              I should point out that my wife tried to push this issue onto me as well. Fortunately... Windows store does not have snapchat.

              Mom
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              • #8
                Re: Snapchat: The Sign of A Bubble?

                I know a lot of people that use snapchat, occasionally myself sometimes but it's not used for sexting at all around here. The consensus is that it's a terrible idea to send those kinds of pictures/videos of yourself through any type of social media. Even more so, after the celebrity hack cases. The news got out pretty quickly that everything you send on snapchat can still be copied.

                I do understand why a lot of young people use it though because when your away at college for instance it gives you the chance to keep in touch with people back home or other places that you wouldn't otherwise through any other means. There's a few people that have become good friends just because we can relate to what the other person is sharing in some way.

                Some people I see do go overboard with its usage though. Those are the ones that everytime you look at the app they have minutes of video sent(your only supposed to sent short videos every once in a while).

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                • #9
                  Re: Snapchat: The Sign of A Bubble?

                  Originally posted by Kwalc View Post
                  Some people I see do go overboard with its usage though. Those are the ones that everytime you look at the app they have minutes of video sent(your only supposed to sent short videos every once in a while).
                  At first I blamed the technology for these people but then I realized these are the same people that never stop talking during a con- monologue -versation. The "look at me" and the "aren't I awesome" types. Its an unavoidable demographic of the population that will always go overboard talking about themselves - technology or not.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Snapchat: The Sign of A Bubble?

                    Thank you for all the insightful replies.

                    Following up on Ytman's comment above, do you find that there is a high or increased degree of self-centredness (narcissism) among your peers or those younger (or older!) than you?
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                    • #11
                      Re: Snapchat: The Sign of A Bubble?

                      Well this should break up nicely along age lines.

                      All young people are narcissist. No J/K...how is that for a start.

                      But seriously. It seems to me a lot of younger people (I'm 50 this year) are obsessed with selfies. This includes my own 12 y/o daughter. Earlier this year it was reported those who take more selfies or are obsessed with them are narcissistic. I'm not quite sure where that fits into your question Emale but it's not hard to recognize many young people seem to be obsessed with taking and then posting selfies on social media.

                      But I think the question deserves more study than that. It really drills down to how we operate generationally imho. While older people might make a judgement that "young people are more selfish than before" I think there's a good chance you could attribute the shift to universal societal change. If everyone is posting selfies at what point does it become just a fad and lose it's narcissism and what we thought was selfishness was now just the new norm.
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                      • #12
                        Re: Snapchat: The Sign of A Bubble?

                        I am suspicious of claims about narcissism when applied to amateur culture production. I think it says more about the elite/intellectual/market's attitude towards unconstrained cultural production in an era when we are supposed to be obsessed with the powerful, the celebrity, authorized fame.

                        Nonetheless, media and subjectivity (how we experience ourselves and are defined by surrounding structures) are deeply interrelated. We are going through a massive shift in subjectivity due to the new powers of self-representation.

                        What strikes me as more significant is how the emphasis is placed on the accusation of narcissism and not on the role of new media habits/contexts that depoliticize the working classes. To speak of the political risks engendering the (radically) political. Thus the focus shifts to the personal (as it usually does within late modern capitalism) -- the terror of people taking pictures of themselves.

                        Historically, self-portrait and representation (to be remembered) were the privileged of the elite/powerful.

                        As ugly as it is, the selfie and the selfie stick has gotten in the face of power.

                        When we are consuming each other we are not consuming ads and propaganda.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Snapchat: The Sign of A Bubble?

                          [MENTION=8381]E-Male[/MENTION]
                          Though this idea might be lost on some, but does the question of security and privacy come up in conversations concerning Snapchat? Snapchat photos can be stolen and plastered on the internet, which is why I will not use it.

                          Is it a wrong assumption to interpret the behavior of the younger generations to mean that they are desensitized to the concept of personal boundaries caused by a type of disconnect?

                          Maybe I should also be called old fashioned or paranoid, but I do not want to use snapchat and I do not think snapchat is a good idea. That last part is just my opinion after finding out how exploitable it is or at least was.



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                          • #14
                            Re: Snapchat: The Sign of A Bubble?

                            The VAST majority of people do not care about security and privacy in digital environments. This works to the obvious advantage of markets and the state.
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                            • #15
                              Re: Snapchat: The Sign of A Bubble?

                              Originally posted by Grunt 70 View Post
                              But I think the question deserves more study than that. It really drills down to how we operate generationally imho. While older people might make a judgement that "young people are more selfish than before" I think there's a good chance you could attribute the shift to universal societal change. If everyone is posting selfies at what point does it become just a fad and lose it's narcissism and what we thought was selfishness was now just the new norm.
                              Emphasis on what I feel is a great point. The act of selfies might, at some point, in-grain or show narcissistic behavior, but the counter argument to the prevalence of selfies is that its an evolution of photography's role in society. I mean the age of the camcorder or the Polaroid saw a massive influx of photography and the all too hilariously awkward family vacation slideshows - a stark contrast to the rare family portrait back in the early 1900s. Would that not be familial narcissism? The selfie is only including yourself, the photographer, into the picture.

                              I think there is a lot more behind the 'Generation Me' narcissism than just a generation-wide personality flaw. It think its a derisive catch-all that allow the previous generation to act holier-than-thou without admitting their hand in it. (Who raised them? Who markets to them? Who teaches them? Who shows them how to live?) I also think that some of the flaw is just an inability to communicate in the same way and a misunderstanding behind it.

                              I grew up with landlines and AOL IM and emoticons (the real ones). I communicate through text and phone and email I still don't have a smartphone! I just don't get it because I don't partake in the act.

                              Is it a wrong assumption to interpret the behavior of the younger generations to mean that they are desensitized to the concept of personal boundaries caused by a type of disconnect?
                              I think it is. Society is introduced to a new technology without understanding it's operation or nuances- it's only exacerbated because of the mass part of our media. I mean can we really blame the child who was introduced to smartphones at 6 for not understanding all of the security issues and social-nuances that even adults don't understand.

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