Snapchat is one of the most popular messaging apps for teens. And if by "messaging apps" you think I mean ways to send someone a quick note like I'll be home late or Do you need anything from the store? or Dearest mother, let me remind you how much I love thee, then you'd be sadly mistaken.
No, Snapchat exists to give teens the ability to instantly send each other memorable must-be-recorded moments through a short video or photo with captions such as I woke up like dis, Outfit of the Day!, Look at my shoes!, Hanging with this one, andLook at my shoes! (Reiterating that shoe one to help you make sense of the groups of teens you see standing around pointing cell phones at their feet.) Because if there's something we need more of in this world, it's obviously selfies.
A "snap" automatically disappears within seconds of being viewed or can be added to the sender's "story" within the app, thereby letting a person's followers see them as they go about their extremely interesting day: riding in a car, calling to their dog as said dog trots off in apathy, looking out a window poignantly, holding their Starbucks drink–because we've all forgotten what a Starbucks cup looks like, taking secret Snapchats of their parents (who demand to be deleted when they find out), posing themselves at the best angle possible for a selfie in a store mirror, and other moments which beg to be documented. And if your teen tells you that a Snapchat disappears forever once it's been viewed, then I've got a few screenshots one teen daughter took of her friends' silly snaps to show you.