M. SCOTT MORRIS: App helps keep secrets kind of safe



We all know one of today’s stickiest problems is the fact inappropriate text messages tend to last forever.

Like, not cool.

Don’t worry because an up-and-coming company has rendered it a non-issue.

Snapchat’s app allows you to send all the nasty, obscene and otherwise foolhardy messages you want, and you’ll be secure in the knowledge they will disappear a short time after being opened.

Imagine the “sext” messages and photos you could send. Or the drug deals you could make. Or the cyberbullying you could do.

The possibilities are endless.

What would you pay for such a service?

Before you answer, The Wall Street Journal reported that Snapchat received a $3 billion offer from Facebook.

Are you ready for the kicker?

Snapchat’s 23-year-old co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel turned the offer down. According to the report, the company has been valued at $4 billion. In other words, $3 billion is considered chump change.

I love America.

I love America.

And in case someone didn’t get it the first two times, I love America.

If you’re a politician with a penchant for sending photos of your below-the-waist area, your problem has been solved – as long as your problem is getting caught, rather than the deep, psychological need to expose yourself.

Having a message delete itself after being opened is the End-All, Be-All of Better Mousetraps in the 21st century.

With drunk dialing, all you had was the witness on the other end of the line. That was probably the only person in the world who knew exactly what was said because he or she was the only sober party to the conversation.

Drunk texting leaves a lasting trail. You can wake up the next morning and see exactly how idiotic you were the night before, and the person who received the text can share it with life’s rich pageant around the globe.

Even if you’re the straightest of straight arrows and the goodliest of the good, you can see the benefit in keeping things out of the public record.

What if you slip up and send the recipe for your prized Pineapple Upside-Down Cake to your niece? Aren’t you worried your tasty secrets will get out?

Snapchat’s got you covered.

Right now, the company makes a grand total of zero dollars. That’s right: Spiegel had a choice between $3 billion and nothing, and took nothing.

Let me repeat how much I love this country. In America, $3 billion isn’t nearly enough money because we do monstrously stupid things on the Internet, the kind of stuff that kills careers and snuffs out relationships.

Imagine the huddled masses of people who would pay, pay and pay some more to make sure their secrets stay secret, even if they can’t help but spread those same secrets across the glorious Intertubes.

Problem, may I introduce you to solution?

M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal feature writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@journalinc.com.

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