On Our Love/Hate Relationship With Snapchat


Ok, fine. We love it more than we hate it. But we hate it a little bit, and a little bit—at least for me—is often enough.

The immortality of digital information is astoundingly daunting to the mothers of risqué preteens wearing thongs for the first time. Your browser is more like a real jar full of cookies than you’d think. You can get rid of it all with a good binge in front of a Netflix documentary. But the odds that you ate them so fast and with so much fervor are increibly high. And when we get excited about a good cookie, we get crumbs everywhere, leaving a trail tangible enough for a blind Bubbe to follow.

What you search on the web isn’t where it ends. Really, that’s where it begins.

What you see online, you send. Have you seen your Facebook newsfeed lately? Do I need to take another Buzzfeed quiz to learn more about what color my personality really resembles?

Well, the same goes for texting. And texting, more often than not, includes sending photos. God gave us not one, but two cameras on the iPhone for a reason. The trend goes as follows in every aspect of life: the more pics, the better.

What you see in a text, you send. You read, you gasp, you laugh, you get really mad, you don’t know how to deal with a boy, you screenshot, you send, you send again to friend number two, you send again to friend number three, you wait for friends one, two, and three to respond, you anxiously watch the cloud from the original conversation that holds so much potential that is begging to precipiate.

Even if you delete your conversation in an angsty rage, while listening to Alanis Morsette’s Jagged Little Pill, what was said exists in a million other forms. Other people have it, and other people can talk about it.

But those little chat bubbles are blue for a reason. They’re as addicting as Heisenberg’s crystal. We. Must. Chat.

So, along came Snapchat. Allowing you to take a photo and send it to someone else (or many people, if you’re really feeling like spreading the love—and, likely, the legs) with the consistent relief that whatever you sent would disappear, forever, within seconds.

This is why people love Snapchat. Do I even need to explain it any further? It allows you to be ugly, raunchy, messy, funny, and flirty. We can be it all, just because of a disappearing act. It’s kinda sad that we aim to build outward perception of ourselves with something so ephemeral. It would make more sense that we should strive to portray ourselves in ways we are far from ashamed to behave.

Still, we love seeing and sending ourselves through this lense. We can be the pretty and ugly at the same time. We can take perflectly align the left sides of our faces to the overhead flourescent in the ladies’ room —where you can see that quirky beauty mark, or that flawless, yet also “I woke up like this” eyeliner—and send it out to a dozen people when we’ve got it just right.

I love Snapchat. I also hate it. I’m stuck in middle school, receiving AOL Instant Messenger notifications about a girl posing topless that got sent to a friend of a camp friend’s home friend’s older brother’s camp friend.

It’s fun, of course. But everytime a Snapchat is sent, a square inch of ego permeates the realm of #nofilter (which, one could argue, is equally as vain). Love your Snapchats, love yourselves. Avoid taking nudes, though. That never goes as well as you want it to.