How to Stop Snapchat Addiction

Snapchat is a fun and harmless way to message friends and send photos and videos, known as snaps, when used responsibly. However, some users can’t stop snapping, and it’s affecting their mental health and well-being, including developing into a Snapchat addiction.

In this article, we explain the potential dangers of Snapchat and why the messaging app can be so addictive.

Who uses Snapchat?

snapchat statistics

Snapchat is hugely popular with teenagers. According to a Pew Research Group study 1 1. × , 62% of US teens aged 13 to 17 used the app in 2022, making it the fourth most visited social media platform after YouTube, TikTok and Instagram. The study also found that 15% of US teens are using Snapchat ‘almost constantly’.

Kate, a 15-year-old British teen, recently started using the app after feeling peer pressure to download it: “It’s an expectation to have Snapchat. I would feel really left out if I didn’t have it now – everyone I know uses it.”

Statistics are not readily available for younger users because the minimum age is officially 13. However, tweens are still likely to be using Snapchat – date of birth information is required to access the app but Snapchat doesn’t appear to verify the information.

More Snapchat statistics and demographics from Omnicore 2 2. × :

  • Around 51% of Snapchat users are female and 49% are male.
  • Snapchat has 375 million daily active users – 88.5 million of whom are in the US.
  • Over 4 billion snaps (photos and videos) are created every day.
  • Snapchatters open the app 30+ times a day on average.
  • Daily active users spend at least 30 minutes on Snapchat.
  • The top reasons why people use Snapchat are to stay in touch with friends, share photos, and use filters and lenses.

Although there are no Snapchat addiction statistics available, a recent report suggested that over 12% of tweens and 34% of teens in the US could be addicted to social media.

What are the pros and cons of Snapchat?

Some people believe that Snapchat is dangerous and toxic, while others argue there are benefits of using the app. Let’s look at the pros and cons of Snapchat:

Positive effects of Snapchat

  • In a report commissioned by Snapchat, 95% of users said the app makes them feel happier because they can be themselves, connect with friends and share their daily lives. 3 3. ×
  • Teens have a place to socialize and connect with friends that’s easy to access 24/7.
  • Users can send photos and videos that (in theory) are automatically erased so anything that’s embarrassing will not be around forever.
  • The app is hugely appealing to teens thanks to the fun filters that can be added to photos and videos, plus it has games, quizzes, celebrity videos and entertainment channels.
  • There’s less risk of stranger danger because a person’s phone number and username are needed in order to engage with them.

Negative effects of Snapchat

  • As messages, photos and videos automatically disappear, users can be lulled into a false sense of security and share more sensitive content than they would on other apps. However, the receiver can screenshot the content while it’s live and share it with others, so it’s not really gone.
  • Cyberbullying is a common occurrence with bullies taking advantage of the fact that messages are time limited.
  • Parents are unable to monitoring their child’s activity on Snapchat because information sent and received is automatically deleted.
  • The unrealistic images presented by selfie filters has led people to question how is Snapchat affecting mental health and well-being. The platform can cause self-esteem issues, eating disorders, anxiety, depression and more.
  • Snap Map is a feature that allows users to share their physical location with people on their friends list. This can be risky if teens have contacts who are not real friends.
  • Snapstreak is another feature that can have a negative impact on users, and lead to compulsive and problematic behavior – see below.

What makes Snapchat so addictive?

The main reason why Snapchat can be so addictive is the Snapstreak feature. On Instagram, a user’s popularity is measured by likes, whereas status on Snapchat is all about maintaining a streak. It’s common when an app is dangerous to include predatory design features.

A Snapstreak is the number of days two people have snapped each other. To keep the streak going, they must send at least one snap every 24 hours. Some teens manage multiple streaks at once and the pressure of keeping them all going can become an obsession, which can lead to Snapchat addiction.

Teens and young adults are particularly vulnerable to Snapchat addiction because their prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain that controls impulsive and compulsive behavior) does not fully develop until their mid-twenties.

Signs of Snapchat addiction

If you think you may be addicted to Snapchat, or you have a teenage son or daughter addicted to Snapchat, here are some warning signs:

  • Feeling an uncontrollable urge to use Snapchat – it’s the first thing you check each morning and the last thing you check each night.
  • Going to any lengths to maintain your snapstreak – even giving your login details to friends so they can maintain your streak if you’re unable to yourself.
  • Looking for potential Snapchat story material everywhere you go.
  • Posting Snapchat stories that are more than two minutes long rather than a quick ‘snap’.
  • Needing to spend more and more time on Snapchat to experience the same ‘high’.
  • Attempting to control, cut down or stop using Snapchat without success.
  • Feeling irritable, restless or anxious when not using Snapchat.
  • Using Snapchat to escape from negative emotions and real-life problems.
  • Spending so much time on Snapchat that you neglect friends, family, school or work commitments.
  • Losing interest in all other hobbies and activities you used to enjoy.

How to stop Snapchat addiction

So, how do you break a Snapchat addiction? Here are some tips to help you or your teen develop a healthier relationship with the app:

Disable notifications

Turning off notifications is one of the easiest ways to stop yourself being controlled by Snapchat. Simply tap the profile icon in the top left of the screen, tap the gear icon in the top right corner, tap ‘Notifications’, then untick ‘Enable Notifications’ to disable all Snapchat alerts. You can also put your phone in ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode or turn off the sound so you are not tempted to take a peek every time you hear it vibrate.

Delete your conversations

Clear all your Snapchat conversations on a weekly basis so you feel less compelled to engage in mindless chat. In ‘Settings’, go to ‘Account Actions’, tap ‘Clear Conversations’ and then tap the ‘X’ next to a name to clear the conversation. You may prefer to archive your conversations rather than deleting them completely. To do this, tap the clock icon near the top of the chat window.

Fill your time with other activities

Find other ways to spend your time so that Snapchat isn’t your only interest. Our hobby tool has over 70 ideas for new and mainly off-screen activities.

Talk to your teen

If you think your teen might be addicted to Snapchat, have an open conversation about it. Find out why they have become so reliant on the app to get to the root cause of their addiction. In our experience, many teens use social media to escape from reality or to seek attention and approval from peers. Learn techniques to speak with your son or daughter about their technology-use in our free Parent Support Group on Facebook.

Take a break

Spend some time away from Snapchat, even if this means breaking your snapstreaks, but find other ways to socialize to avoid FOMO. Suggest meeting up with friends in person and sharing real-life experiences instead of chatting with them on the app.

Remove the Snapchat app

If you or your teen find it impossible to take a break from Snapchat, you could consider deleting the app to remove the temptation to constantly check it.

If you’ve tried our tips above and they haven’t worked, you may be wondering, ‘Why am I so addicted to Snapchat and why can’t I stop using the app’? You may need professional help.

How to get help for Snapchat addiction

If you or someone you care about are showing signs of Snapchat addiction, you don’t need to struggle alone. At Game Quitters, our coaching programs are designed to give individuals and families the tools and motivation to regain control of technology.

For more information about how we help with Snapchat addiction, get in touch to book your Gameplan Strategy Call. Limited spots are available.



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