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Snapchat: connectivity versus infidelity in the digital age

If you're a Beatles fan, especially of John Lennon, you might well be familiar with a song Lennon wrote entitled "Jealous Guy." Reportedly, and despite all his fame and wealth, Lennon was possessed of a number of insecurities, including jealousies relating to his relationships and other people's successes.

It's interesting to wonder how Lennon might have reacted to Snapchat, had that online social networking tool been in widespread use -- as, indeed, it is today -- during the rock star's life.

If you're familiar with Snapchat, the social app that enables a user to send pictures, videos and text messages of only fleeting duration via smartphone, you know well its allure and special powers. Indeed, a media article commenting on a recent study of the networking tool refers to "the psychological motivations and impact of using Snapchat" that set it apart from other apps.

Reportedly, jealousy is front and center quite often where Snapchat is involved. The above-cited article notes Snapchat's impact "when it comes to stirring up jealousy on social platforms."

Research is showing that Snapchat use can make one or both partners in a relationship more than just a tad nervous and jealous, especially when compared with the use of Facebook. The latter is more of a public vehicle, whereas Snapchat activity is purposefully private and much more clandestine in that what is sent is erased within seconds.

That now-here-now gone aspect creates an aura of secretiveness about Snapchat that is absent with other social apps, and it can reportedly spook spouses and significant others, breeding distrust and jealousy.

The nexus between social apps and marital discord is an interesting phenomenon, with discussion centering on the subject often focusing on the fuzzy boundaries that exist between socially connecting and infidelity.

To wit: If a married person sends an erotic image or message via Snapchat to someone other than his or her spouse, is that cheating?

If Lennon were still living, he might just write a song about it.

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