Once It’s Out There, It’s Really Out There
Before posting anything to a social network, ask yourself, “would I be happy with my boss/mother/father/sister/partner seeing this?” If the answer is no, don’t post it. While your intended audience ily, etc, once you send that pic, your control over it ends.
If you have a falling out with the recipient, you have to then trust them not to do anything with that image. Is that a chance you’re willing to take?
I’ve mentioned it already, but this point is important, so it’s worth repeating: Once you post something online, in Snapchat or anywhere, you lose control of it. It’s out there, free for anyone to do with what they will. That could mean nothing, which is great. It could also mean something, which isn’t so great.
Revenge porn, outing, blackmail and more can all begin with the wrong nude pic in the wrong hands. While it may never happen, it’s a serious risk.
There’s a feature in Snapchat called Snapchat Story, which allows you to share images and videos-but they do not self-destruct. It’s also incredibly easy to accidentally post something to a Snapchat Story rather than as a direct message. While you can quickly remove it, you have to pray that nobody saw- or had the chance to save- the image or video you just posted.
If you accidentally hit that little rectangle icon with the plus in it, you are out there. You will need to move fast to take it down before someone notices it. Here’s how:
- Select the Story you just posted – This can be accessed by swiping left from the home screen.
- Tap the trash icon on the bottom of the screen.
- Confirm deletion.
You Don’t Know Who You’re Talking To
Unless you do actually know the person you are talking to, you have no idea who the other person is, how old they are, what they want and what they will do with your nude selfie. That person could be much older, much younger, a criminal or just generally untrustworthy.
Even if you think you’re communicating with someone you know and trust, you can never be absolutely certain it’s them in possession of their phone. Maybe they lost their phone on the bus. Maybe a roommate picked it up. You can never be totally sure.
Colleges and Employers Check Social Networks
While in theory, snaps should never appear on a social network or anywhere online, as you now know, that doesn’t mean they won’t. Having your nude pics hijacked not only makes life difficult in the here and now, it can also have ramifications further down the line. Colleges, recruiters, scouts and potential employers all check a potential candidate’s social network accounts to get an idea of their personality.
Coming of Age
Age may be relative to us, but in the eyes of the law, it is definitive. People can get into untold amounts of legal trouble sexting with a minor, even if they didn’t know the person’s age. While the issue may be resolved eventually, this is a situation no right-minded person would want to be involved in.
Unless you know or can verify the age of the person you’re talking to, you are at risk if you send them anything with potential sexual content.
We have all done dumb things in the heat of the moment. Before the digital era, if someone made a mistake, it could be kept quiet or hopefully between those involved. But with the internet and social networks, that’s no longer true.