The Darker Sides of Social Media: SnapMaps

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Recently the popular social media app, Snapchat, have updated their software to include a new feature called ‘SnapMaps’. But does this seemingly harmless feature have darker consequences? 

In the new update, users can zoom out and see a world map with the location of their fellow snapchat friends marked out on it by their own bitmoji (a feature where you can create an emoji figure of yourself). Users are able to see the exact location of their friends, even down to the street name, and what they happen to be doing at the time, such as listening to music, driving in a car etc and also view local snapchat stories in the area.

Many parents including television presenter and actress Nadia Sawalha, have taken to Facebook to express their distress and warn other parents of protecting their children’s privacy on social media and online by checking their location settings. The worry is that strangers may be able to see where users are located and track them down, the update allegedly has also led to friendship and relationship problems arising due to stalking, opportunities to exercise obsessive and controlling behaviour and accusations of cheating.

Is the modern day obsession to always stay connected with each other, slowly turning more and more invasive?

See Nadia’s video with her young daughter discussing the update here:

More articles in The Darker Side of Social Media
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  2. The Darker Sides of Social Media: SnapMaps
  3. The Darker Side of Social Media: Snapchat’s Race Problem
  4. The Darker Side of Social Media: The Lighter Side of Life
  5. The Darker Side of Social Media: Effects on Employability
  6. The Darker Side of Social Media: Cyberbullying
  7. Darker Side of Social Media: Internet Stalking
  8. The Darker Side of Social Media: Helping the Less Fortunate for Likes?
  9. The Dark Side of Social Media: Getting Real About Mental Health
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Features Editor 2017/18, Sub-Editor 2018/2019, BA English Student.

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