Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Apps to Think Twice About

 Kasey Prater, Marketing Intern
 For many incoming freshmen, college is the most freedom they have yet to experience. While this new found independence can be exhilarating, it also comes with a great deal of personal responsibility and decision-making. Since most incoming freshmen own smart phones, it is important for them to think before they download the latest popular apps. Like Facebook in its early stages, most of these apps are geared toward the college demographic. But be careful: Many of them require that students submit sensitive personal information, and require phone users’ Facebook or location services to be accessed by the app. Before downloading controversial apps, it is crucial to consider how much you are willing to share and how important privacy is to you.

One app that practically all of my college friends (and yes, even my mom) use frequently is Snapchat. Given that my mom graduated from college about 20 years ago, she still sends some pretty hilarious snaps. Snapchat is an app that allows Android and iPhone users to send photos and videos with optional text and illustration to a controlled list of recipients. Snapchat users can set a limit to how long their images will be seen, ranging from 1 to 10 seconds, after which they are deleted. However, if you thought these snaps could never come back to haunt you, you are wrong. There are some Facebook pages for “Adult Only Content” snaps. These pages feature screenshots of photos that some Snapchat users thought would be gone forever. So next time you send a risky snap, remember that you could be one screenshot away from becoming internet famous.
If we can thank Snapchat for anything, it would be the decline of “selfies” on my newsfeed. Not everyone wants to see how excited you are about the upcoming episode of Pretty Little Liars.
I have to admit that this app sparked my curiosity. I was surprised when my friends started talking about an app that allows you to scroll through the other users’ pictures, and either “pass” or “like” a person based on what you see. The app even pairs you with singles who are your age and live within a certain radius. Tinder is considered a dating app; if you like a person’s picture and they like yours back, it gives you the option of a message introduction. Sounds a little creepy considering all you have to base your “pass” or “like” on is a couple of Facebook photos and a short bio.  Also remember that Tinder pulls personal information and selected photos from your Facebook account through the terms you agree to when downloading the app.
Some people say you should never judge a book by its cover, but not Tinder. If you are considering creating a Tinder profile, always remember that appealing angles matter when taking photographs of yourself.
This females-only app allows women to anonymously, yet publicly, rate and objectify men (from what I understand). These men, via Facebook, are ranked on a scale of 1-10 based on their romantic and even sexual value. For example, an ex-girlfriend or “hookup” may rate a man a “4,” including hashtags like #BadBreath and #Womanizer for further explanation.
If you are an angry ex who wants to vent about a crappy boyfriend through ratings and hashtags, Lulu is the app for you.
In summation, it is all too important that you research an app before downloading it all willy-nilly. Just because an app is all the rave (and not to mention, free), it does not mean you have to get it. Think about your privacy and the issues that could arise before agreeing to the terms and conditions of an app.

No comments:

Post a Comment