A location generation: Why Snap Map is harmful for teens’ mental health


Dana Gaudette

Assistant Sports Editor Zoe Manousos writes that the Snap Map feature of Snapchat can create stress for the app’s users and create problems when it comes to privacy.

Zoe Manousos, Assistant Sports Editor

Although Khalid once said  “send me your location,” teens having their location on Snapchat has become a rather unsettling issue in today’s society. 

There are many pros and cons to Snapchat, but one of the biggest cons is the Snap Map feature. The Snap Map isn’t beneficial for many reasons, especially not for your mental health. 

The Snap Map is the function where you can display your current location for the people that have you added on Snapchat. You can have your location on for individual people or everybody.

Because of COVID, spending a lot of your time locked in your house might result in spending time on Snapchat talking to your friends. You could be having a good day but the second you click on the Snap Map and see a bunch of your friends hanging out together, your day could instantly be ruined.  

It’s never a good feeling to know your friends made plans and you couldn’t go, but it’s worse to know you were available and you weren’t invited. 

Another feature of the Snap Map is the ability to see how long ago somebody was active, meaning the last time they were using Snapchat. One of your friends could be active on Snapchat fifteen minutes ago, but it could be twelve hours since they last responded to you. It can feel like you are being ignored, and therefore take a toll on your mental health. 

The Snap Map can also be a safety hazard because everybody that you allow to see your location, can see your exact location at all times. If you zoom in enough on the map, you can see the town, street and even the exact layout of the house on the street. 

You may think you can trust everyone you have on Snap, but you can never be too cautious, especially with people who you’ve never met before.

However, even with the Snap Map feature, Snapchat is one of the better social media platforms to avoid cyberbullying. 

According to the Cyberbullying Research Center article “Should You Give Your Kid Snapchat or Instagram?”, “referring to the ability to accept or decline people to be your friend” greatly reduces the likelihood of various forms of cyberbullying and online harassment because your content isn’t out there for a large audience to see, rate, pick apart and go off on – like on Instagram.”

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Because you can closely monitor what you are sending and who you are sending it to, whether that may be a message or a photo, the chances of being cyberbullied by one of your close friends, or someone you trust, is unlikely.  

And yes, even Snap Map has some positives. The Snap Map could be beneficial to stay up to date during a crisis.

One of the features within the Snap Map is the ability to scroll around the map and see public stories from different parts of the world. The stories sometimes document important events like hurricanes or protests, which could be helpful to people living in or near the area looking for updates.

The Snap Map could also be beneficial to make sure somebody is safe. You would be able to check and see if one of your friends got home safely because the Snap Map shows when and where somebody was last active.

At the end of the day, when it comes to Snap Map, it’s your choice to keep your location on, but just remember that you could be risking your safety and mental health.