Written by Mary-Todd Christian and Paige Farnworth. Media by Jack Dawdy.
Snapchat is one of the most beloved and potentially scandalous forms of modern-day communication. The application is a fun way to carry on a “conversation” using short videos and pictures that “disappear” after being viewed. Being that I (Mary-Todd) am not an avid Snapchat user, I don’t honestly see what all the hoopla is about. What’s the point of taking a picture you can only view for 10 seconds? Despite my inability to jump on the bandwagon, this app has become a true means of communication for many people. Why send a text when you can send the message with an accompanying selfie? With the app’s growing popularity the questions arise: has Snapchat become another source for the deterioration of face-to-face conversation? Is it potentially damaging to relationships? Can Snapchat simply be a harmless form of communication? To help you ponder these questions and think about your own usage of the app, remember these five Snapchat Truths:
1. Your Snaps are no secret.
Don’t lie to yourself. Just because they “disappear” after ten seconds doesn’t mean they are gone forever. Be wise. Be responsible. Think before you snap.
2. The temptation is real.
Because there aren’t detailed records of your Snapchat conversations, you may face a temptation to do or say something that you wouldn’t in a normal text message.
No one knows exactly what each snap holds except for the sender and the receiver, which leads some people to believe that they can get away with flirty or inappropriate messages without repercussions they would have faced otherwise. Even if it isn’t that big of a deal, you don’t want to fall down a slippery slope of iffy behavior. Ask yourself: would I want this picture posted on Facebook? Would I want what I’m saying right now to be on the record somewhere? Would my significant other get upset because of this snap? Take this scenario for example: You lay in bed at night, and the faithful buzz of your phone alerts you of a notification. It’s one of your boyfriend’s friends, up late looking for a conversation. You consider it harmless, fix your hair a little, and then snap him back with a sweet expression on your face. Sure, maybe you’re flirting a little, but it’s not serious. You’re committed to your significant other. Right? In scenarios like this, it is important for users to have discernment about who and what to snap. Find your line of what is appropriate and what is not for you (and your significant other if you have one) and stick to it.
3. Snapchat is NOT a measurement tool for your worth or your relationship status.
Unfortunately, many people weigh their friendships and relationships based on social media. Snapchat has taken a step in eliminating this pressure, by removing its Best Friends list in which a user could view their top 3 followers that they snapped the most. Even so, the paranoia of who’s snapping whom remains in the back our minds. I still see their snap count going up… who are they snapping? Without the Best Friends list, how can I keep tabs on my boyfriend/girlfriend? (We would just like to point out however, that if you’re asking this question, you might need to reevaluate you relationship.) Don’t get caught up in who is snapping who and how often.
4. The world is not in your phone.
Sitting in a room ignoring those around you to stay connected to others virtually? Is this really what we have succumbed to? Is a 10 second photo on your phone more truly more fulfilling than
a face-to-face conversation? Snapchat is not the only culprit in the lost art of conversation, but one could agree that it is the most prevalent next to texting. Take sometime and actually talk to someone. *GASP* Talk to another human being? Can’t I just snap them a picture of my face? Sure, you could do that, but in doing so, you are unintentionally isolating yourself from those around you. With that being said, put the phone down and be not afraid!
5. Ugly faces are the best faces.
Go on. Make the most ridiculous face you can. Contort it, scrunch it up, stick out your tongue, anything. If you use this app to see your friends throughout the day, why not give them a laugh? Nothing says friendship like a series of unflattering obnoxious snaps. Of course, be aware that a screenshot may make the photo blackmail against you forever, but that’s just a part of the fun. But if ugly faces aren’t your thing, just smile and brighten someone’s day! Don’t be the boring Snapchat user that just takes a picture of the floor. To keep this app as a positive in your life, have some humor or throw on a beautiful smile. Don’t take yourself, or the app, too seriously. Please snap responsibly.