When Good Social Media Apps Go Bad (NBC33 VIDEO)

By Eric DeFreeuw

April 8, 2013 Updated Apr 9, 2013 at 5:51 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.nbc33.com) – “Snapchat” is an app that American teens and “twenty-somethings” seem to be going crazy over while parents appear to be less than enthused. And its not alone.

Think of it as a combination of two things teens love to do – take pictures of themselves and their friends and interacting on social media.

The app allows users to share their photos with friends for a brief time – up to ten seconds. The app is designed to designate a particular timeframe for which your friends are allowed to see the image. Once the time is up it disappears forever.

Snapchat officials say the image is deleted forever and there is no record of it kept, but some parents are not so sure. The way they see it, this medium is asking for inappropriate messages to be sent.

One of those parents is John Kaufeld, a social media expert at IPFW. He says, “there is that false sense of security, that idea that 'well, I'm just going to take this and I'll set it for 2 seconds and so it'll be kind of like our little secret...' Well... unless it's not. The reality is that once you take a photo and you share a photo, it's out of your control. Snapchat gives you a feeling that it's not, but really there's always the possibility that it is."

As with any form of social media, the use of caution is important. Like with Facebook or Twitter, one regretful post can have negative repercussions.

The latest trend with media sharing is the ability to share photos and videos. An example of a video app hitting it big is called “Vine,” which is owned by Twitter. With this app, users shoot short six second videos that loop over and over.

Like Snapchat, this app is designed to be fun for its users, but some have reported abuse with inappropriate postings.

It truly has become a whole new world out there with social media, so enjoy with caution.

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