[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n a new age where technology is considered a necessity to daily life, teens of this generation are brainwashed and have attached their life to their cellphones. At school, students always have their phones within a glancing distance to always check what is happening in the digital world. This accessibility to publicizing every aspect of daily life has grown enormously in the past decade. As technology advances, so do new forms of social media to keep track of every event of our daily lives.  Apps like Snapchat are used by millions daily. The application started out as a design project for students Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, students at Stanford University, under the name Picaboo. The owners described the app plainly, “It’s not about capturing the traditional Kodak moment. It's about communication with a full range of human emotions.” Nowadays, students snapchat to capture every awe-inspiring moment or simply chat with friends over selfies. It’s trends like these that spread like wildfire, worldwide.

Although it is concerning on how often the particular app is used, overall comments are nothing but positive.  Sophomore Katie Nunez enjoys the app “because it's a fun way to talk to friends.” However, there are limits as to when and where to use it. “It just depends where you are and what you're doing...There is a time and place for it and in class isn't one of those places.” Senior Nicolas Castagnola concludes “It [doesn’t] stop people from enjoying an experience because it doesn't take too long to take a picture.” Junior Dinuk Amarasinghe “[doesn't] mind that people use it a lot because it is a form of communication, but when [people are] taking selfies while driving or walking around, [he] thinks it’s stupid. They could get hurt or hurt someone else or even worse, they could walk into [him].”

Senior Karen Pham describes Snapchat to be very distracting. “I guess it's a good form of keeping in touch with people. I just feel that like with all forms of social media, people become addicted to it and/or spend too much time on it. That's why it's detrimental...People are becoming more and more antisocial, and things are getting less personal...It creates the illusion of us being social creatures, when really, we're becoming less social...People are only not applying themselves, but there are also not finding themselves. It's pretty bad because rather than spending that time exploring who they are, really digging deep into the process of realizing themselves as people, a natural part of adolescence, they're not. So many people are confused about who they are or what they want to actually do. I think that confusion is natural, spending time talking and thinking about it is so much more beneficial than looking at people's Snapchat story.” Junior Cierra Cradle expresses, “I think Snapchat has made phone use more addicting; going on Snapchat has almost become a necessity to our daily lives.”

Being one of the today's top 10 apps, Snapchat is trying to up their game by adding new features added. Recent additions include the emojis beside your best friends' names and the fire streak to show how many days you have been “snapping” your friend back and forth and the active lenses. The activate lenses are “a whole new way to express yourself”, where the app recognizes the user's face and adds effects of the user's choice. The effects are activated by the user opening their mouth or raising his or her eyebrows. They are updated everyday and some include puking rainbows and the effect of your face looking like it is in a fish tank. Castagnola thinks “maybe they are being a little pre-emptive in adding the updates. They are making them to keep the app interesting, and maybe just trying to make sure they stay relevant.” Junior Katlyn Ho says, “It's excessive. There's too many updates coming out, often enough that you don't have a chance to really enjoy it.” However, Amarasinghe adds that “they're really fun especially when the stuff doesn't match up right to your face. So, there's a rainbow coming out of your eyebrows.” Nunez assumes, “If they keep adding things, then the app wouldn't fade. But I like them. They are really funny!”

Snapchat is one of the few social media sites that people, students especially, invest a large amount of time in. With popular apps such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, the choices are endless. Social media has become a large part of pop culture with so many people around the world wanting to connect and keep updated with the latest news. Although the addiction to our phones have significantly grown to the point where it affects personal relationships as well as focus in school, if done in moderation, like anything, it is harmless. Whether you like it or not, the technology is becoming one of the largest impacts on mankind and that’s a fact we have to learn to live with.

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Apps, TrendingLily Nguyen