Teens on social media go from dumb to dangerous

NEW YORK -- A lawsuit filed last week blames Snapchat -- a messaging app for photos and videos -- for a Georgia car crash that left one man seriously injured.

socialmedia.jpg
"Lucky to be alive," writes Christal McGee, an 18-year-old from Atlanta, in a selfie she took on a stretcher after a serious car accident she was involved in while taking speedy selfies with Snapchat.

It was the latest in a string of disturbing incidents involving young people and social media.

Amy Joyner, 16, of Delaware, died last week after being beaten in her high-school bathroom. A student allegedly recorded the attack with a cellphone and shared it on social media.

"Social media plays a big part in a lot of what's going on nowadays," said senior Suleida Zayas, who attended a vigil for Joyner."It's cool to record a fight and it's cool to be on social media because of a fight and I think that's where a lot of us mess up."

Facebook's Chris Cox unveils new live video features

In Ohio last week, an 18 year-old allegedly live streamed the rape of a 17-year-old girl on the Periscope app. She faces up to 40 years in prison on charges including for the illegal filming of a minor. In March, near Tacoma Washington, three teenagers were charged with raping a 15-year-old girl and posting it on Snapchat.

Yahoo's new Snapchat-style service

The way Snapchat works is that you can take video and pictures and choose from a number of filters, including one that measures speed, before posting.

Last year, 18-year old Christal McGee from Atlanta allegedly used that filter to take a selfie and show her friends she was driving 107 miles per hour. Moments later, she crashed into a driver, who survived but was seriously injured. McGee survived but continued to post pictures of herself while on a stretcher with the caption, "lucky to be alive."

Facebook also recently launched a live video feature.

"I have teenagers say that things don't feel real 'til you see them on social media," said Dr. Lisa Damour, a child psychologist, adding that "It's so tough with teenagers because their better judgment can be overridden by their wish to be connected to their friends."

Snapchat put out a statement that said: "We actively discourage our community from using the speed filter while driving." The company says a warning not to snap and drive appears in the app but when this reporter used it, no such caution appeared.