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Snapchat comes under fire for fueling teen anxiety

Posted April. 01, 2024 07:44,   

Updated April. 01, 2024 07:44


Amid growing concern over the mental influence of social media on adolescents, Snapchat, a popular social networking service among English-American teenagers, has recently been criticized for adding a sense of anxiety to teenagers’ friendships. The order of Snapchat's best friends is at the center of criticism for leaving young users jealous and anxious about their social lives.

On Saturday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Snapchat’s paid service, “Friend Solar System,” can make teen friendships and connections uncomfortable. This mobile messaging service has been dubbed social media for teenagers, with more than 20 million U.S. teens active online.

This feature is included in Snapchat Plus, a subscription option that charges users a monthly fee of 3.99 dollars. How often a user communicates with another is measured to show the level of closeness in a way likened to planets in the solar system. The user is the Sun, with his or her friends marked as Mercury, Venus, the Earth, and so on based on their frequency of communication on the service.

The problem lies in how teenagers’ friends and their connections are measured and ranked because it can only increase their level of insecurity. After all, young individuals are likely to feel betrayed or jealous about whether they are included in someone else’s solar system or marked as Mercury or Jupiter. Maximilian Milovidov, 17, told the WSJ that he was left emotionally scarred when he realized that he ranked lower in his friend’s solar system than he would expect. Callie Schietinger, 15, confessed to having trouble with her boyfriend, who got upset after learning that he is Neptune and one of her closest male friends is Mercury.

There are a growing number of regulations across the Western world on social media platforms due to their bad influences on young students. For example, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis last Monday approved a bill that blocks children aged under 14 from signing up on social media platforms.

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