Deleting Snapchat: Should You?

Here’s why you should delete Snapchat:

Snapchat can be bad for your mental health.

It can also create or contribute to security and privacy issues that range from mildly uncomfortable to life-changing identity theft.

Snapchat is also easily replaced as a communication medium and offers surprisingly little in terms of unique opportunities.

So if you want to learn all about the reasons why you should delete Snapchat, then this article is for you.

Let’s get right into it!

Deleting Snapchat: Should You? (9 Reasons)

Why Do People Use Snapchat?

I know. We’re here to delete Snapchat and maybe say a few bad things about the app while we’re at it.

But, if I’m going to give this a fair shake, I should probably talk about why people even like Snapchat.

As you know, it’s a social media app, and like any other, Snapchat makes it easy to have conversations with people you know and strike up engagements with people you don’t know.

All of this is built around an image-sharing format, but modern Snapchat can do a lot of things.

Whether you’re sending sly messages, maintaining a streak, or playing with fun filters, there’s no question that people appreciate the design of Snapchat.

It has hundreds of millions of users, and they send billions of Snaps every day.

People like being a part of this.

So, when I get into the reasons to delete the app, please don’t assume that enjoying Snapchat is a bad thing.

I’m just presenting viable answers to a question.

Why Should You Delete Snapchat? (9 Reasons)

We’ve gone over the essentials of Snapchat, what makes it special, and why people use it.

But, the primary question today is why you should delete it.

I’m going to cover a lot of reasons, and I want to take a minute to be fair.

If I give you a list of reasons to delete Snapchat, it’s going to come across pretty rough on the social media company.

On that note, my reasons are going to say some negative things about social media in general.

This is not intended as a lecture on why social media and Snapchat are the devil.

That’s not the point.

The point is that you came here looking for justifications to delete the app (or you were just curious in general).

To serve that end, I have to focus on the negatives.

If you love Snapchat, it’s fine.

But, as we focus on reasons to delete, that’s probably the last nice thing you’ll read about Snapchat in this particular discussion.

Let’s get into it.

#1 Mental Health

I’ve picked this as the first point for a reason.

Social media has a pretty bad rap when it comes to mental health, and Snapchat is hardly an exception.

Medical studies have linked social media usage to sleep disruption, depression, anxiety, memory loss, poor academic performance, malaise, and plenty of other issues.

Explaining why could justify an entire book, so here’s the overhead concept.

Social media emulates social engagement without providing the core benefits that come from socialization.

Even when you feel like you’re interacting with other people, you’re still ultimately alone.

This leads your brain and body to start misjudging a lot of things, and it throws you off kilter.

The results often contribute heavily to poor mental health.

As for Snapchat, it’s bad in particular ways.

The app has been associated with higher levels of body image issues and cyberbullying than the majority of other social media apps.

If you need more than this to delete Snapchat, I’ve got you covered, but this already seems pretty compelling.

Delete your account, and you’ll probably start feeling a little better in a matter of days.

#2 Security

On a completely different note, social media is pretty bad in matters of security, and this happens in a lot of ways.

First, the companies have all been breached at some point or another, so simply by giving them your contact information, you’re at risk of identity theft. It’s not entirely fun.

On top of that, social media apps make it easy for strangers to connect with you and find you.

Every app has been used for catfishing and other scam attempts. Just using the apps presents you to more scammers.

Worse, social media often ties your activities to locations. It’s very easy for someone with bad intentions to find your physical location and create harm.

Snapchat is especially useful for stalkers. By default, your Snaps are public, and if you’re not careful, you can accidentally broadcast your location across the internet. 

There are measures you can take to reduce security risks, but Snapchat, like the rest, will never be truly secure.

Deleting the app really does afford you the most security.

#3 Privacy

Maybe you’re not too worried about stalkers and scammers, but do you care about your own privacy?

If so, Snapchat is not a winner.

Again, this plagues the entire genre of social media.

The apps are usually free.

As the saying goes, if the thing is free, it means that you are the product.

In other words, these apps provide services because they collect data on you and sell that data.

There’s actually a lot more to the social media money-making formulas, but this is a big one.

As for Snapchat, collecting your personal data and sharing it is a matter of policy.

It’s not that Snapchat is accidentally violating your privacy through data leaks or something (although that also happens).

It means that the company is deliberately violating your privacy, and they say so right there in the policy terms.

You might think that the design behind Snapchat makes it a little better for privacy.

Snaps automatically get deleted, right?

It doesn’t matter.

The company can still track you and sell your data with ease.

Disappearing Snaps don’t impact the outcome at all.

#4 Leaks

Unfortunately, the privacy policy isn’t the limit of how Snapchat can create privacy concerns for you.

The company, like virtually every social media company, has suffered from data breaches in the past, and it’s likely that, eventually, more breaches will follow.

Once again, the nature of Snapchat doesn’t afford any extra protection.

The company has had individual breaches that leaked hundreds of thousands of images each. 

A lot of people like Snapchat because it feels like private messages stay more private.

Unfortunately, that’s just not the case.

A Snapchat leak can be just as compromising as any other.

In fact, Snapchat leaks are sometimes worse because people let their guard down with the app.

#5 Design Philosophy

Alright. We have to have a hard talk for a minute.

If you’ve never used Snapchat (and you’re still reading?!), then this might not make total sense.

If you’re an avid user, you probably know where this is going.

The hook that is supposed to make Snapchat special is that your Snaps disappear.

There is a ton of baggage that comes with that simple feature.

I can’t tell you everything the design team was thinking when they first built Snapchat, but I can say that this design philosophy is reflected in user engagement.

I’m trying not to be too blunt, but if your favorite messaging app is the one where messages automatically disappear after a while, then that might tell you something.

Now, plenty of people use Snapchat in harmless ways, but if you’re doing the whole cloak and dagger thing, that comes with a mental price.

I’ve already mentioned how social media apps can be bad for you.

Snapchat is designed in a way that encourages levels of secrecy that can exacerbate all of those other problems.

It’s not necessarily a problem for you in particular, but it’s probably worth a few moments of consideration.

#6 Time Management

Once again, Snapchat is just another needle in the stack when it comes to this problem.

Social media apps are designed to promote engagement.

These companies want you to spend time on their apps for a few reasons.

First, if you spend more time on the app, you’ll see more promoted content, and they get to charge people for promoting content.

It helps them make money.

Second, as you spend more time on the app, the companies get more data from you.

This is more data they can sell.

It’s also more data that they can use to target you with things that make them money.

Third, it’s a point of pride.

If you were going to build your own social media company, how would you measure success?

The companies that already exist have determined that engagement is a great metric, and they push for it.

So, how does Snapchat rank?

It tries harder than most to get you to spend your whole day on the app.

Streaks are the prime example.

If you don’t talk to everyone on your list, you lose streaks.

That doesn’t feel good, and that’s one more way Snapchat compels users to spend time on the app.

There are definitely social media apps that push even harder for engagement (looking at you TikTok), but most people who still have an active Snapchat account spend 30 minutes to hours on the app every day.

That amount of time really does add up, and if you delete the app, you get that time back.

If you’ve been down the rabbit hole for a long time, it will take some getting used to after you first delete the app.

But before you know it, you’ll realize that you really value your time, and Snapchat wasn’t the best use of it.

#7 Road Safety

After all of that talk about engagement, this seems like a good moment for a little safety talk.

Some people put their phones away when they drive, so this won’t apply.

Other people enjoy using the phone while driving, and if that’s you, then Snapchat might be another thing contributing to safety problems.

Snapping and driving are definitely dangerous.

If you delete the app, that’s one less reason to be on your phone, and maybe you’ll be paying attention in a crucial moment that saves your life.

#8 Drinking and Snapping

I’ll try not to make this too awkward, but drunk texting is definitely a thing.

Drunk Snapping is a thing too, and it’s so much worse.

Hear me out.

When you send a drunk text, you can review it the next morning.

It might make you feel some things, but at least you know exactly what happened, and you can deal with things as needed.

When you send drunk Snaps, they disappear.

If it was a particularly wild night, you might not remember the content, and it’s gone now.

Instead of facing embarrassing texts, you now have unknown drama hanging in the air.

Let me assure you that your imagination in this case is usually worse than reality. Drunk Snaps are the worst.

#9 It’s Not Providing Anything

Here’s my harshest criticism of Snapchat.

It doesn’t actually provide you with anything special.

The entire Snap mechanism is a gimmick at best.

You can send pictures to people without the app.

You can talk to people without the app.

You can watch videos or whatever else without Snapchat.

Snapchat doesn’t help you keep in touch or stay informed.

It drains your time and energy.

It’s entirely replaceable, and if you replace it with things that are designed to be addictive (just send a text maybe?), you get all of the benefits with none of the drawbacks.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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