Is it safe for teens to use Snapchat?
Should Christians be on Snapchat? What are the benefits and dangers?
Written by Gerald Koh
Snapchat is now one of the most popular social media outlets in the world, with millions of users, many of whom happen to be teens! People love the fun of sending streaks to their friends and recording whatever is happening around them. It’s no surprise that countless people across the globe use this app on a daily basis!
So, is using Snapchat fine?
Is God okay with you using Snapchat? Well, the Bible never explicitly states that using Snapchat is sinful or harmful. So, generally speaking, there is no harm in using Snapchat to chat and share safe pics with your friends.
In fact, you could even use Snapchat to send snapshots to your friends of Bible passages, or send them reminders to spend time with God, as I myself have done so before.
Despite this, we should still be aware of how Snapchat could pose a danger to our spiritual life.
Be aware of its pitfalls
Snapchat is increasingly a reflection of the ‘selfie culture’ that has permeated our culture over the past few years. It’s a problem that is based on a desire to fit in with everyone and get our self-esteem from all the wrong places.
Growing numbers of people use social media as a means to enhance their reputation or their self-esteem levels by taking selfies and posting them for others to see, in the hope that they will gain attention. Snapchat is just one major platform to do so, even if there is no actual ‘like’ option available.
There is a possibility that anyone could become hooked on this ‘selfie culture’ mentality by spending too much time on Snapchat. It can lead to the trap of placing too much emphasis on what others think you, rather than what God thinks of you.
For example, a guy could start streaks with numerous girls simply to feel good about himself, rather than to build meaningful relationships. Girls could get caught up in sending pictures of themselves in a vain attempt to convince others of how pretty or attractive they are. It can even lead to the sending of sexual pictures, which has the potential to do significant long-term damage.
As Christians, we must reject such a mindset from permeating our lifestyles. The glorious truth that our sense of worth is not found in achievement or other people’s opinions, but in Christ, should motivate us to chase after God’s will rather than a transitory social reputation or temporary feelings of self-worth.
A biblical perspective on Snapchat
As John 1:12 says, to all those who believe in Jesus, he gives us ’the right to be children of God’. As we realise our value comes from our status as God’s sons and daughters, it therefore means that there is no need to obsess over your reputation among peers, or on social media.
Glorify God in all that you do
1 Corinthians 10:31 gives us a guideline on the decisions we should make in our lives.
As it states, ‘Whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.’ Whenever choosing to do something, our priority should be whether we’re doing so for God’s glory! .
Paul says in Romans 14:5, ‘One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.’
Using Snapchat may be perfectly fine for many people, whereas for others it could be a hinderance. Something more important is whether you feel such an action is what 1 Corinthians 10:23 says ‘Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial’.
So even if Snapchat is not actually forbidden in the Bible, still be wary of whether it is good for you personally or not.
So, happily snap away if you wish (keeping in mind everything above!), but remember that your identity in Christ is more important than your social media life and what others think of you.