There are a lot of things that we don’t want people to see on a daily basis. Like your enthusiastic rendition of Let It Go And that goofy picture of you and your friend that only to two of you would understand. Or that time you face planted in the driveway over your own two feet? There are a lot of things that happen that we really dont want to share with everyone. Some things we only share with a few select people, because they know us best. Some things we try to hide because of shame, guilt, or that tiny little voice inside of us that says, Seriously? You know better!”
In this wonderful and frightening age of technology, society has been bestowed the of no regrets with a fancy little app called Snapchat. Oh yes, Snapchat. That wonderful app that lets you send secret messages and goofy, embarrassing photos to your buddies and beyond. Go ahead and rant about the unfair punishment from your parents. Go ahead and take that shameless selfie, it will all disappear right? Sorry girls, it wont. I am sure that you have been forewarned and maybe even banished from the use of Snapchat, but do you know why? It gives you a false sense of not having to have any accountability.
Snapchat was invented by a group of guys who were working on a project together at Stanford. One of the founders snapped a photo that he wished never would have happened. Thus Snapchat was born, allowing users to share and delete photos, Mission Impossible style, from their devices. After developing the software that would be able to hide all the data, the product needed to be launched. Then a server system was set up to be able to take care of the demands of the users and store the information needed to make the app work. Pay attention to the last part here. Apps run on servers. Servers store information. Your information.
Most teens who use Snapchat are learning from the mistakes of those before them in the Internet world. Once something is shared via the world wide web, it stays there. Always. Teens have seen sharing mistakes from the past and hope to not share the same fate. They’ve seen bullying happen when someone shared an unflattering picture of themselves or because they post a thought that others didn’t agree with. Some teens wish to explore the dangerous world of sexting, but feel it’s too risky. So, thinking their images are private and temporary, girls (and guys) are posting nude photos on Snapchat at alarming rates! What do they have to lose?
Dignity. Innocence. Reputation.
Not long after Snapchat was developed, hackers got to work on those servers. They were able to pull locations, phone numbers, and even images from the servers. There are whole websites dedicated to raunchy photos teen girls have taken of themselves in what they thought was secret. This is scary girls. Really scary.
Do you use Snapchat? If so, what are your intentions? Have you sent a few pictures to people showing a bit too much cleavage? Have you taken a picture and sent it to your friends showing off your new bra and panty set? Maybe you’ve gone farther than that and exposed yourself Playboy-style. As Christians, we must understand that there is nothing the all-knowing eye of our Creator can’t see. The Bible promises us that “nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light”Luke 8:17). What a sobering thought. When Christ died for us, He gave His body so that we might be freed from the chains of sin. When we put on Christ, we become His temple, and are called to honor Him. We were bought at a price, therefore we are to honor the One who gave His life for us with our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:20
All those pictures you share, good and bad, end up somewhere. They may find themselves in the hands of a pedophile who can feast upon your body in their imagination. Gross. They can be found on some trashy website for guys to rate and disgrace you. They can wind up as a screenshot to be used as blackmail. While these things might or might not happen to you, the main thing to realize is that as a Christian, as a new creation in Christ, you are called to holiness. And these kinds of scenes are pretty far removed from holiness. Whether other people see these images or not, God sees them. He sees the intentions of your heart when you take them, and is mourning over your choice to choose the world over His gift of grace and mercy.
The majority of teens are innocent, using Snapchat because it gives them more freedom to be goofy with friends. But even these innocent photos are still hacked into and made available for the public eye. Whether your pictures are innocent or not, they’re always there. What are you showing to the world? The light of Christ, or the darkening snare of sin? Take a stand and refuse the urge to use Snapchat, and other programs like it.
For those of you who use it to gain self-worth with inappropriate pictures, you will never find that as pure and as gratifying as the fact that Jesus Christ died to make your eternal life as free from sin possible. Remember to be transparent inall things. Learn from the mistakes of the past by knowing that whatever you upload and or download is always there, saved, somewhere, for anyone to see. What do you want the world to see? Choose purity. Choose freedom from sin. Choose to show your life as one that’s accountable to God. Snap out of the misconception of Snapchat.