I started with a tried and true Google search which led me to a substantial article on Wikipedia. Some may challenge it's authenticity and credibility but when I'm first learning about anything this is where I turn. Plus, my campus library returned no search results. I learned some of the basics of the app and how initially it was known to many as the "sexting" app. However, sexting only contributes to about 2% of the Snaps- as they are called. I think this appealed to users because they could share the inappropriate content for as long as 10 seconds and then they would disappear. This is also what has attracted many teenagers to the application - its ephemeral nature. Many teens have been drilled into the idea of the permanence of their "digital footprint/tattoo" and Snapchat eliminates some of that . On the flip side, users have the ability to screen capture a "snap", but Snapchat let's sender of the snap know when that has happened. Even still, users can workaround that by using someone else's device to capture a "snap".
Then, I learned how one of Snapchat's most popular features now is not its quick snaps, it is the stories. In fact, my son created one of these stories, a collection of snaps, for his girlfriend on her birthday. These stories last about 24 hours. After all this learning, I decided to put into practice one of the things I mentioned in a discussion post: it would be nice to have an app that could educate users on the app and the best ways to use it so that all users have a positive experience. This video could teach a few of the nine elements of digital citizenship like: how to use the tool (digital literacy), how to communicate (digital communication), explain how to conduct themselves on the tool (digital etiquette), and how to follow the rules of the tool (digital law) (Ribble, 2015). So I decided to create one myself and create my own Snapchat account.
Just like any social media application, Snapchat can be used in a positive way or negative. As a parent, I also know that it's important to have open communication with my children and their use of any social media tool.
Connect Safely. (2013). A Parent's Guide to Snapchat. Silicon Valley: Connect Safely.
Couros, G. (2014, October 27). Snapchat and Education. Retrieved from The Principal of Change: http://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/4866
Ribble, M. (2015). Digital Citizenship in Schools. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education.