You may hear your teen say “VSCO girl” and be completely lost on its meaning. What is VSCO? How does one become a VSCO girl?
Simply put, VSCO is a photo-sharing app that started out as a place to edit and share photos. Now, it’s become a popular app among high schoolers. Users can either share their edited photos to their VSCO feed or save it to publish it on other social media apps like Instagram. The largest difference between VSCO and Instagram is limited social interaction. While Instagram is centered on likes and comments to create a sense of popularity, VSCO does not give users the chance to like and comment on posts.
With VSCO, there’s a larger emphasis on how the photo looks and personal satisfaction rather than posting for engagement.
What Is a VSCO Girl?
There is no clear definition of what a VSCO girl is, but plenty of associated meanings. It started off as a way to label girls that used VSCO to edit their social media photos but has become a way to describe an internet subculture. For many, calling one a “VSCO girl” is not a compliment, but a jab.
It’s teens’ current method of calling another basic. Read our article on VSCO girls to see a breakdown of the term.
Why Do Teens Use VSCO?
Unlike Instagram, VSCO is largely anonymous. You can’t see if a photo is “popular,” nor which user has a large following. Teens don’t face the same amount of pressure typically associated with more popularity-based platforms.
The app also lacks privacy settings. Users are unable to make their accounts private, so any posts uploaded to VSCO can be accessed by everyone. Location sharing is a default option — users must turn off the feature manually to make sure that their location is not attached to every upload.
The anonymity and lack of complex settings can be convenient for some, but an absolute nightmare for some parents. VSCO is not a widely publicized app by any means, so teens can use the app without their parents knowing. Teens tend to post riskier images, including shots of alcohol or drug use or photos of themselves dressed inappropriately.
While it could be just another harmless editing app for many, it’s important for parents to initiate a conversation about online safety. What teens post on an app that doesn’t get that much traffic could get screenshotted and published elsewhere without them knowing; teens rarely have complete control over their images after posting them.