Opinion: More pros than cons in Snapchat update


by Laura Wiersema, Reporter

When Snapchat released its latest update on Jan. 28, countless young adults went into shock. Heaven forbid Snapchat eliminate the best friends feature from their app! What if my boyfriend or girlfriend is sending snaps to someone else?!

Let’s get back to basics, here, for a second. If you were to ask people in healthy relationships whether or not they trust one another, a good majority would say yes. That’s because it’s one of the most crucial components of a successful relationship.

Trust is something that is built during a relationship, but, like a muscle, it has to be exercised in order to be made stronger. It’s hard to believe you really trust someone if you have to check their social media interactions before you decide.

If you explode in hysteria because you can no longer monitor who your significant other is sending picture messages to, you have deeper issues you need to address. Is your relationship beneficial? Is it healthy to be monitoring their correspondence with other people? To me, that sounds obsessive; obsession is not a characteristic of a healthy relationship.

In order to be concerned about who might be contacting your significant other, you have to have someone specific in mind. If that’s the case, you should talk to them about it. Be confrontational, not passive-aggressive.

Relationships, in general, are not easy; they’re a lot of work. If any of the issues I brought to light apply to you, then maybe Snapchat’s removal of the best friends feature was for the better. I hope it helps people realize the unhealthy habits they’ve formed so they can address them properly.

I realize that Snapchat’s CEO, Evan Spiegel, has already announced that they are bringing best friends back. The enormous reaction from the app’s users via Twitter was enough to make them change their mind. Just remember to consider your motives behind checking who everyone is talking to when the feature is restored.

It’s a shame people reacting more to the removal of one feature overshadowed the addition of another on Snapchat. In the new update, the app added the Discover feature, which allows users to browse stories from various news sources.

Content is posted daily from 12 different sources including People, CNN, ESPN and National Geographic, providing an assortment of types of news to choose from. Some posts are news stories while others are videos. Regardless, everything published is short and sweet, perfect for its use on mobile devices.

Since the update was issued, I have checked the Discover feature every day. It’s a great way for me to stay informed about what’s going on in the news world. As a college student, I rarely have time to sit down and watch the news or read the news. I don’t even have time to get adequate sleep most days.

From a journalism standpoint, Snapchat’s addition is ingenious. They’re taking advantage of a tool much of the younger generation (46% ages 12-24) uses and repurposing it to also be used to disperse news.

It’s important for people to stay informed about what’s going on in the world, or at least what’s interesting to them. Doing so provides basis for discussion and material to form opinions on. The Discover feature is a productive aggregator for discussion and developing interest in the world around us.

Snapchat users need to realize that staying informed about current event is far more important than an anxiety-ridden relationship.