Q & A with Teen on How and Why She and Her Friends Are on Snapchat

inside_snapchat_picQ – What is your name? How old are you? What publication staff are you on at your school?
A – My name Clair Selby, I am 17 years old, and I am the Editor in Chief of Westside Wired at Westside High School. (westsidewired.org)

Q – How long have you been on Snapchat and why did you decide to make an account there?
A – I have had a Snapchat account since my freshman year in high school. I made an account my freshman year because it was the year that I got an iPhone and it was the ‘norm’ that you had a Snapchat.

Q – What was your first week on Snapchat like? Was it similar to starting your first week on other social media accounts? How so?
A – Awkward, like everything else that’s new in my life. I didn’t know what the appropriate way to take a selfie was. I had to watch what other people were doing to follow suit. But since my freshman year like most things, Snapchat has evolved. Starting on Snapchat is similar to starting on any other form of social media. That first tweet is always super awkward, like ‘hey I got a twitter wasssuppp erryone’. There is just no way around that first period of time where you have no clue what to do. But as you get more comfortable with that social media you have a better understanding of what to do.

Q – What do you and your friends primarily use Snapchat for?
A – I primarily use Snapchat to send Snaps to communicate to my friends in college or just to say hi to a friend. Snapchat is fun because you can see the expression of the people who you are snapping instead of trying to decipher a cryptic text message. Also, my friends and I use Snapchat to update our Snap stories. It’s fun to see what everyone is doing with their time, it’s interesting to see the variety of activities. You can also show off what cool things you are doing.

Q – How would you compare Snapchat to other social media platforms?
A – Snapchat is so unique, you can’t send selfies to your friends on any other social media outlet without it being a bit weird. Snapchat has gone from taking embarrassing pictures of your friends to perfecting your snapchat story to make it look like you are at the party of the year. Snapchat is it’s own world in a way, nothing else compares to it. Especially when Snapchat is constantly reinventing itself and adding things like the Discover feature to the app.

Q – In your opinion, what’s the biggest misconception about Snapchat?
A – The biggest misconception that I think people have about snapchat is that it’s just used to send nudes. But the majority of people, at least that I am aware of, use Snapchat to communicate with friends.

Q – What’s your favorite part of Snapchat?
A – I love the new features that Snapchat added recently. The new feature where you can make all the emojis big is so much fun. You can get so creative with that. I also love the new Discover feature. I think that that feature could be so cool and I’d love to find a way to use it for Westside Wired someday.

Q – Anything else you’d like to add?
A – Snapchat has so many opportunities that it offers. Snapchat would is fun and creative way to get content out to your readers.

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 19th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He created The Next 26 and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on Twitter and Instragram @manfull and on Snapchat as aaronmanfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

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