A Grade 9’s Perspective: Senseless Snapchat

Our generation is fixed on nothing but pixels displayed on a glass screen, pixels which form the app of Snapchat. Rather than the nightmare of showing up to school without pants, it’s the nightmare of missing your streaks. We treat Snapchat as much more than a game or a toy. The form of entertainment becomes a topic for everyday conversation, our source of communication and the story of our lives! Such a senseless app is far too important to us.

Snapchat has a number of uses, in my opinion they’re all a waste of life (your phone’s battery life that is). Firstly, stories. It seems that all Snapchat users want the most exciting stories to impress others. I think taking a video to remember a funny moment is fine but when you’re constantly filming your life how can you actually enjoy your experiences. Like when you’re at a concert and you watch the entire show though your screen just to film it and make others jealous. If you think Snapchat stories are a good tool to create your life’s story, you’ve got it all wrong. Stories are usually written in the aftermath. Now when someone goes to write your story all it’ll be about is you living through a screen.

Secondly, the people who simply use Snapchat for selfies. Yes, selfies can be handy when no one is around to take your photo and you’d like to remember an important event, yes, it’s nice to have a selfie with you and your friend making funny faces, and yes, Snapchat has some pretty fun filters to mess around with. What bothers me most is the obsessive selfie taker: how many photos of yourself do you really need? Photos are memories and selfies don’t help you remember much but what your hair looked like and where you had a pimple. All you can see is your face. There’s limited background and usually no expression because people rarely capture true emotions. When you look back at a selfie you won’t even be able to remember what you were wearing that day.

Finally, the communication aspect to Snapchat. Does it annoy anyone when it takes 5 minutes for someone to respond to anything you say. You snap someone “hello” and 5 minutes later when you get a response it’s nothing but a picture of the side of their face. Seriously, was it supposed to be a video of them saying “hello” or am I supposed to telepathically understand them? From my experience it seems users are more worried about streaks than conversations. Honestly, why bother keeping streaks? What value do they have? How does having a 300 day streak define a true relationship when all you did was send each other the word “streaks” 300 days in a row? I’ll stick with text messaging. I may get the occasional chain mail but at least I won’t get excited about someone finally responding to me only to open the snap and see nothing but a black screen.

With all of its uses being foolish, why are we so obsessed? Here’s what I think. People are bored. Being a high school student your life is primarily based on routine, which doesn’t exactly feel the most thrilling. Compared to celebrities who wake up in a different country everyday, going to school can seem uneventful. Although, if we’re constantly bored we can’t keep running to Snapchat for entertainment because that creates a meaningless routine which will only increase our levels of boredom. This must be why we turn to the app so often, it creates a chain effect of boredom. The only way to free yourself is to put down your phone and interact. Next time you’re about to send someone a picture of the side of your face, put down your phone and talk to someone around you instead. Don’t think about taking a picture of what you’re doing for your Snapchat story either. Just live.

This is why I stopped using Snapchat. I felt that all the seconds I was wasting snapping others were adding up to hours, which were adding up to days of my life. In the spring of grade eight I gave up the social media platform entirely. It was originally supposed to be a month but that soon turned into a year. I haven’t sent a snap since. Why? Social media is supposed to create an online community which strengthens our connection with each other, yet we’re constantly surrounded by people who ignore us for someone on the other side of a screen. Is Snapchat really connecting us?