Rebecca Sedwick was a 12 year old girl suffering at the hands of her bullies that committed suicide. Her mother, Tricia Norman, thought she had protected her daughter by taking her out of school and removing social media from the computer. Although Norman thought she was protecting her daughter, she failed to realize that Rebecca’s cell phone allowed bullies access to Rebecca with disappearing messages.
What Are Disappearing Messages?
Disappearing messages are the newest app trend to hit the social media scene. Snapchat, Wickr, and ask.fm are popular apps that feature messages that expire after viewing. Disappearing messages can be viewed anywhere from 10 seconds to 6 days, it all depends on the app.
Disappearing Messages Versus Traditional Social Media
Common social media icons, like Facebook and Twitter, keep a running list of your activity, likes, and friends. These sites monitor your activity to gather data- phishing for statistics. Other users may be able to view your comments and photos that create a database of your thoughts and activities. This collection of personal data and lack of personal boundaries can turn people away from traditional social media.
People are turning to disappearing messages as an alternative, because disappearing messages promote authentic communication without the fear of being monitored. Many people enjoy the spontaneity disappearing messages provide, because they aren’t worried about bosses or nosy neighbors scanning their feed. People feel liberated by removing the restrictions and fears of grooming profiles to protect their images on traditional media.
Disappearing Messages Can Promote Inappropriate Uses
The spontaneity of disappearing messages can become the ideal vehicle for bullying, sexting, and criminal activity. Disappearing messages are hard to trace after they disappear, creating a platform that fosters racy or inappropriate messages. For many people, these are valid concerns regarding disappearing messages.
Rebecca’s mother was unaware of the possible dangers of disappearing messages. Social media can be a wonderful tool to bridge miles or time to encourage communication. It’s important for people to understand the platforms they use and look for ways to protect themselves. Screenshots are a good tool to defend yourself from bullying messages.
Do you have any tips regarding disappearing messages?