Have you heard about the new iPhone app, Snapchat? It’s all the rage these days. You take a picture, type or scribble a message on it, and send it off to a friend. A few seconds later — * poof * — it disappears. Vanishes. Even a technophobe like me is dazzled by the abracadabra nature of the app.In reality, though, if I’d gotten a photo via Snapchat I’d right now, this minute, be crashing around in ultra sensitive data files searching for the damn thing. And rendering the phone utterly useless in the process. Wondering what’d I do? Where did it go? How did this happen?
And that, my friends, is space age technology for you, a combination of Mission: Impossible and Get Smart. But why? Is there a big demand for this kind of thing? An untapped market for disappearing photos? The short answer is yes. Snapchat is currently sharing something like 10 million images a day.
Remember Anthony Weiner. I bet we know what he’s thinking: if only, right? You see, Snapchat allows the sender to decide how long the picture appears on the screen (up to 10 seconds) and sends an alert when the recipient takes a screenshot. But that’s as far as it goes, an alert.
Well, phew, the big obstacle to sexting has been solved. Or has it?
You see, like millions of others, I’m camera shy. Wait, let me rephrase that: I’m deathly afraid of having my picture taken. Fully clothed or (God forbid) stark naked, it wouldn’t matter, I’d find the experience deeply and irrationally unsettling. My chin quivers, my lips quiver, my knees knock, my skin turns bilious and clammy — all in all, I’d rather be waterboarded than photographed.
Picture day at school was torture. Getting my driver’s license renewed is a nightmare. The mere presence of security cameras is enough to make me self-conscious and ill at ease. No amount of technology, no ingenious software can cure that.
I’m afraid of morticians, too, they freak me out. So do pressure cookers. I’m also afraid of the IRS, public restrooms, heights, depths, people who make air quotes, lizards, bats, Bette Davis, and being buried alive. Is there an app to ward off any of those? I didn’t think so.
In the meantime, please, be careful where you point your cameras. One person’s photo op is another’s bad hair day. Thank you for your cooperation.
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