Snapchat recently released their newest update, which features the “Snap Map”. The Snap Map allows users to view a map of the world indicating exactly where each friend is at any given moment. It also labels events in your vicinity to keep you informed of what’s going on around you.
The update was created to connect users with each of their followers, and help them keep up with nearby events and activities. Snapchat Inc. claims the update was created to benefit users by not only allowing them to view what their friends are doing (via Snapchat stories) but to get the opportunity to engage with them as well. Its purpose is to reduce loneliness, and bring friends together, but is this really advantageous to Snapchat users?
Despite its claimed benefits, the Snap Map update has quite a few drawbacks. For one thing, it can be considered an overt invasion of privacy. Each of your followers can view your location at any time of the day. If you have something to hide, you’re out of luck. Unless your settings are on ghost mode, your location is exposed to all your friends.
The Snap Map has also been questioned for its disregard for security. Whenever your location is available to others, concerns regarding safety arise. Users’ lives could be at risk, given the circumstance that their location is seen by an ill-intentioned individual. Considering 23% of users are under the age of 17, this update is especially dangerous for the younger audience Snapchat reaches. It increases the risk of exposure to bullying, cyberstalking, and strangers.
It is important to remain connected, but how much is too much? Are you willing to share your location with your followers 24-7? Is it worth the risk? We’ll allow you to decide.