Snapchat vs. Instagram

Maia Turman-Cooke, Reporter

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You know when people say, “What happens in a place stays in a place.” It’s a different case for social media. What happens on social media stays on Google forever. According to the NORC at the University of Chicago, “76 percent of American teens age 13-17 use Instagram” and “75 percent of teens use Snapchat.”

So many kids use social media, nowadays it’s very hard to find a kid/teenager who does not have either Snapchat or Instagram. You’re probably thinking that since their both social media that there pretty much interchangeable, right?  Wrong. After doing social media experiments and having conversations with friends, I will show you Instagram is riskier than Snapchat.

Last week, I created two anonymous accounts, one on Instagram and the other on Snapchat. After creating both of my accounts, I took a picture of my friend covering her face to cover her identity and posted the photo on my Instagram and Snapchat account. After 24 hours, notifications showed that more people screenshotted/posted the photo on Instagram than on Snapchat. This social media experiment showed a lot. When posting on Snapchat it only stays online for 24 hours, meaning after you post something on your story, it completely disappears on your account, it also gives you access to the people who screenshotted/re-posted.

However for Instagram, a post can stay on Instagram as long as you want and anyone can access it even if they are a complete stranger. Also to show that someone screenshotted/re-posted it only allows you to see how many people screenshotted, re-posted, or shared with others and it doesn’t give you the information of the people who did it.

This experiment showed that although social media can be very dangerous, Instagram is definitely one of the most risky social networking apps, especially for teenagers and other young kids.

Freshman Lutece Guillemot, 14, got Instagram and Snapchat when she was only in 6th grade, so around 11 years old. Guillemot also post on snapchat every single day, and post on Instagram 1-5 times a week. She would rather keep Instagram because it allows her to express her creativity with her modeling and photography. Guillemot is very passionate about modeling and her photography, “Social media is an outlet to practice on my modeling and photography skills. Without social media it would be very hard, to express things I’m very passionate about to others.”  However, she does believe that Instagram is way more risky because way more people are on it, and can view her account without her even knowing.

Nathan Buckley, 14, got Snapchat and Instagram when he was only 10 years old, but he rarely ever posts on Snapchat and Instagram. “It really expand the communication barriers, where you can communicate with others even across the world.” Although he doesn’t post that much, he checks social media whenever he has a chance to, which is quite a lot. He would rather keep Snapchat and Instagram because he doesn’t like to post for a long period of time on social networking apps and when you post something on Snapchat it only stays online for 24 hours.

Ruby Evg, 14, got Instagram at 10 years old and only got Snapchat a couple of months ago. Ruby only posts on Instagram about once a month, and posts almost everyday on Snapchat. She would choose to keep Snapchat more than Instagram because it’s an easier way to communicate with her friends and more people rely on it. She stated, “Instagram is way more dangerous because a post can stay on Instagram forever and people can access it way easier than on Snapchat.”  

Clearly, social media is dangerous even if teenagers use it responsibly. According to the article “Snapchat vs. Instagram Comparison,” posted on the Protect Young Eyes blog by Chris Mckenna. “The pressures felt by some kids to be perfect and to achieve a certain level of quantified popularity (e.g. “like my recent”) within a social network is having a tremendous impact on the overall contentment of tweens and teens. They are seeing the lives of their peers in real-time, constantly comparing, and constantly longing for the greener grass.”

No teenager should ever compare themselves to others, they should enjoy what’s in front of them instead of stalking other users wishing they could look like them.

But the real question is, is Snapchat or Instagram more dangerous? And the answer is Instagram for sure. You can disagree with me, but actually Instagram is more risky. Although, Snapchat used to be used for way more inappropriate things, users have a lot more access to decide who is allowed to see these posts. Instagram provides the easiest access to pornographic material. Instagram has “400 million users” who share over “70 million photos daily.”

Also, Instagram has no parental controls, and users can easily erase search history in the settings section so the risk of dangerous use is very high, especially for teenagers. Not only is Instagram dangerous, but it also has the greatest negative impact on self-esteem.

This article proves that although Snapchat and Instagram is all cool and fun, it may be dangerous for teenagers and other young kids to use. Hopefully, this article gave you more awareness of why you should be more careful on social media in the future.