Hidden Dangers Of Snapchat

A picture of Snapchat log in page on a computer

Alexa Oddo

A picture of Snapchat log in page on a computer

Alexa Oddo, Editor

“Hey, can I get your snap?” The first thing asked after having a conversation with another teenager.  No, not “what’s your number?” just Snapchat.  When someone doesn’t have Snapchat, they are viewed as lame or uncool and are just ignored from now on.  Even understanding how dangerous Snapchat is, it seems like an addiction once downloaded that can’t be stopped.


Sharing Location

Social media seems fun until the dangers rise to the surface.  Sharing location is something that can be done on Snapchat.  The location can either be seen when on the app or can be shared always.  While this feature can be shut off, it is scary to see what some people may do if they get a hold of a certain person’s location.  Sharing locations while at school can also be dangerous in specific situations.  This also shows when a person was last active on Snapchat, which can hurt some people if their snaps are ignored.  Ghost mode is another form of sharing location which means Snapchat has access to a person’s location, but no one else can see it, which seems just as pointless.


Stranger Danger

Since Snapchat is viewed as a trendy app, kids will beg their parents to allow them to have it and never take no for an answer.  Strangers are one of the most feared things on social media.  Strangers can add anyone by a quick search.  Being clueless young teenagers, they will add them back to “get their snapscore up” as a joke.

Many teenagers are not aware of the dangers of Snapchat.  The app may give strangers access to locations, even when you’ve been with Snapchat Premium.  Even on Ghost Mode, Snapchat is a hotspot for rumor spreading, drama, and nothing good overall.”

— Anonymous student


Quick Add

Quick add is a feature that allows the user to see other accounts they may have mutual connections with or just random people.  At the bottom of some accounts, there is the word mutual friends.  It could be seen as 3+, 10+, or even 20+ mutual friends.  This will make kids add those accounts even if they don’t know them personally.  Just because it says there are mutual friends, doesn’t mean it is okay to add them.  Kids may feel compelled to add all those in quick add to increase their snapscore, which is an ongoing problem.


Middle schoolers obsess about how high their snap score is simply because a higher snap score means you have more people to talk to on snap.  It becomes a competition to get a better snap score but it’s just a number that tracks how many snap you send and receive.  Snap scores are not that big of a deal, but the idea of having a higher number is wanted by many teens.”

— Anonymous student



“Hey, our streak hit 365.  I have to post this on my story!”  Streaks are how many days two people have sent a snap back a forth with each other.  Streaks show how well of friends two people are.  Having a streak for one year shows two people are great friends.  The more streaks had with popular kids seems better.  Teens are compelled to respond to streaks no matter the person.  Even a random stranger.



What is a snapscore?  A snapscore is the amount of ‘snaps’ sent or received.  The higher the snapscore, the more popular someone is, and vice versa.  The obsession with achieving a high snapscore is too much.  Sometimes it’s pathetic how hard someone tries to further advance their snapscore.


Inappropriate Messaging

If texts aren’t saved in chat on Snapchat, they can either delete immediately after viewing or after 24 hours.  Of course, usually, all teens choose immediately after viewing to discard anything that shouldn’t have been said.  Snapchat is a main source of cyberbullying, but since all incriminating evidence can be deleted, there is rarely any written proof.  Also, adults can inappropriately talk with minors, and yet again aren’t able to be caught with the incriminating evidence.  Many people have shared their stories of cyberbullying and inappropriate behavior with adults.  However, it isn’t just adults.  Other teenagers can also peer pressure people into giving them what they want, and if they don’t the excuse will always be, “I’ll tell your parents what you’ve been saying and sending if you don’t do this,” which is a horrible experience.  It is important to tell a trusted adult whether it is a parent, guardian, teacher, or other staff member if cyberbullying is happening in any circumstance or inappropriate messaging is.  It can also be reported to Snapchat so their account can be banned.


When a friend posts on their Snapchat story hanging out with their friend group excluding you, it can cause the excluded friend to feel left out.  Being the excluded friend to feel left out.  Being the excluded friend hurts and it feels bad to watch other friends constantly leave you out.”

— Anonymous student



Snaps can be posted to stories that friends can see.  There are a few options for stories.  


  1. It can be posted on the main story which means all friends can see it. 
  2. It can be posted on a private story that only chosen people can see.
  3. It can be posted on a shared story that certain people can also contribute to.
  4. It can be posted to all people on Snapchat to see, no matter the account if chosen.


People can post insensitive things on their stories.  Posting photos with other friends while clearly excluding one can make them feel horrible about themselves.  While it is perfectly fine to choose whom to hang out with, it isn’t necessary to post on stories to deliberately exclude someone.  People sharing their lives on social media is completely irrelevant and quite frankly a waste of time.  People will sit on their phones watching other people’s stories wishing they had their life while doing nothing to help change and grow their own.


Sometimes Snapchat is the only way to communicate with teenagers because they don’t like to use text messages anymore, but that doesn’t mean it is a safe and normal app.  It is important to be able to differentiate between what is safe and inappropriate between location, quick add, strangers, and more.