October 17, 2024 – Eau Claire, WI
Peeta Cullen Rosenbaum, a ten-year-old boy from just outside Altoona, has recently made it public that he’s on a mission to find any pictures or videos of himself as an infant after claiming that he’s never seen a single one. “I always found it weird that, not even on my mom’s computer, there are no signs of me,” Peeta said, holding back tears. “All of the other kids at school have flash drives of pictures and videos of themselves when they were babies and I don’t. I just don’t understand why.”
Peeta’s mother, Stacy Carter, who separated from the boy’s father in 2016 after they graduated from Memorial High School, has avoided the discussion for some time. When asked why there seems to be no record that her son was ever younger than ten, she sorrowfully confessed, “There was an iPhone app that was popular when he was born called Snapchat. Remember that? Every picture and video I took was on that. All of my friends have seen videos of his first steps and birthday parties, but those went away after five seconds!” Stacy then broke down sobbing, calling herself a “terrible person.”
Snapchat — a private photo and video messaging app — was released in 2011 as a way for people, predominantly teenagers, to share quick snapshots and brief videos with one another. Reggie Brown and Josh Meyers, the original developers of the application, have released several statements about the usage of Snapchat, including, “Aside from the nude picture here and the duck face there, our app was often used as a way for people to share countless images and videos of their ‘cute’ kids. We have never promoted Snapchat as an alternative to traditional cameras.” Snapchat was removed from app stores in 2017 after several civil lawsuits involving concerned parents of “sexting” teens.
Most individuals who grew up with the application knew it wasn’t meant to be a camera replacement. With the many other apps available at the time — apps like Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, etc — having no photographic evidence of a child’s first steps seems absurd. For Stacy Carter and countless others, however, this is not the case, and poor children like Peeta Rosenbaum have to live with the fact that their childhood disappeared five seconds at a time.