ACCORDING to a recent study, over 5 million Saudis use Snapchat, the popular but disappearing messaging app, with Riyadh hosting the highest percentage of users at 2.5 million, or 50 percent. The study also showed that most Snapchat users are women who account for 60 percent of users and that excessive use of Snapchat has made some women develop negative personality traits such as vanity, reports Al-Riyadh daily.
Psychologist Mona Yousef believes Snapchat has its pros and cons just like other social media applications. Abusing it or getting addicted to it can have a negative impact on the user.
“Many Snapchat addicts tend to talk about superficial issues or brag a lot about their looks or accomplishments. Some of them lie and make up stories just to attract attention. Unfortunately, many women wash their dirty linen in public and talk about issues that many consider taboos, especially on social media,” she said while predicting that Sanpchat’s popularity will subside and a new app will take its place.
Unlike other social media apps that are used to communicate, critics of Snapchat say the app is mostly used by people to air the mundane details of their lives to their followers.
“The most annoying thing I find is when a woman brags about her achievements and keeps talking about how great she thinks she is as if she wants to tell other people ‘look I am here and I am great. You should follow me on Snapchat’,” added Yousef.
Psychologists believe people who brag and boast about their achievements just to increase their importance suffer from an inferiority complex. It all boils down to one thing: They want to show that they are important.
The American Psychiatric Association has confirmed that taking a selfie several times a day points to a mental disturbance and any person who does this needs psychiatric help, Yousef said, adding that this behavior proves that the person has a feeling of emptiness and does not know what to do with his or her time. “It also indicates that they have no clear purpose in life and their number one concern is to attract people’s attention,” she explained.
Yousef went on to say that mothers play an important role in the values their children develop and acquire in their lives. For example, if a mother does not set a red line or an ethical compass and is ready to divulge her secrets to the public, her children will likely grow up to be like her.
“Women tend to develop negative traits because they are more competitive than men and attach greater importance to the way they look,” she said.
Technology expert Saud Al-Hawawi agreed that many Saudi women have become addicted to Snapchat and tend to abuse it. Perhaps this is because the application itself is easy to use and allows the user to have full control over content and offers them the potential to develop a large fan base with relative ease. He also admitted that the app can be used in a constructive way too.
“To be fair, some women use Snapchat in a useful way to help other people or provide important information or advice. Snapchat is a double-edged sword,” he said.