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Snapchat brings the goofy

Wait -- what? The video-and-pic sharing app Snapchat is suddenly, according to the Financial Times, "in the coveted but risky position of beginning 2013 as the most hyped app in Silicon Valley." How'd that happen?

Sneak attacks like Snapchat's -- the app was launched in September 2011, and exploded in popularity this past fall -- are most likely to happen when the target demographic is younger than the journalistic cohort that covers new technology. Smartphone-equipped high schoolers and college kids are the big Snapchat users, so the rest of us weren't paying much attention until the app blew up.

Or maybe you're just a jaded cynic like me, and responded to seeing the name Snapchat pop up with increasing frequency on Twitter by wondering why the heck the world needed yet another piece of software to help people share digital content. Haven't we shared enough, already?

Yes, probably. But the answer to why Snapchat is worth pondering is a couple of orders of magnitude more profound than I expected. Snapchat is the anti-Panopticon, an indigenous rebellion against the know-it-all, see-it-all, never-forget-anything networked world.

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