Snap(ped) chat

Dear Snapchat,

That’s it.

We’re done. Finished. Caput. El FIN.

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And you want to know why?

Because I’m sick of this one-sided relationship. I’m sick of feeling used. Because I often find myself making little video/picture stories about my daily food decisions and my occasional day-drinking fiestas for no reason whatsoever. Because I constantly get mind-numbing concert seizure videos from my friends that for the record, NO ONE WATCHES. Because I would be lying if I didn’t say that I didn’t enjoy sending #DefinitelyASelfie pics out to all my cute little fun friends using your easy-to-use button functions.

But in all honesty? It’s over, Snapchat. Because you are ruining lives. And most importantly, you are ruining my life.

I feel like most of our grandparents wrote love letters. Long epic ballads about how much they cared for one another. These days I’m lucky if some guy I like sends me a 4-second picture of the beer he’s drinking.

And you know what the worst part of that is? I GET EXCITED ABOUT SAID PICTURE. Omg guys, so-and-so sent me a picture of what he was eating! Wait. Did he post that picture to his snap story? No!? Ahhhh omg, omg fist-pump/high-five, #PersonalSnap! That means that before he even took a bite of his meal he thought, hmmm I should send Meg a picture of what I am eating. Swoon. I’m LITERALLY like so incredibly touched at such a thoughtful display of poignant flirtation. This is truly the start of our screenshot-saved digital romantic love story memory box that I can like, #TBT when I’m feeling nostalgic. I’ll look back at our relationship and go: Honey, remember when you first sent me that 5-second video of that giraffe at the zoo? That’s when I knew you really cared.

I’m joking, but seriously guys. You know this isn’t far from the truth. When did this lack of communication become the main source of communication between all of us? When did this become second nature? Are you even reading this because it’s longer than 10 seconds?

It occurred to me just how lame this process has become as I became deeply offended yesterday that a friend of mine looked at my snapchat story and didn’t answer my text. Um, I’m sorry anonymous friend but I saw that you saw my 4-second picture of my delicious sushi dinner but you couldn’t take the time to write me a 4-second response to my text inviting you to said dinner? Did you really not have 8 seconds to spare?

Furthermore, are you really so freaking textually impaired that you can take the time to watch the entirety of my Saturday wine night but not answer where you’re going to lunch today? That story was a nonsensical intoxicated 65-second montage of a plate of cheese! I would know you asshole… I was there! Well anonymous snapchat friend. You have hurt my feelings. This will last much longer than 10 seconds I assure you.

And so this what you have reduced me to Snapchat. A neurotic, babbling, pathetic food photog who gets mad when my friends don’t respond to my texts but then watch my pointless snap stories and also get excited when guys send me 10 second videos of the John Legend concert they are at which FOR THE RECORD I can’t even hear, because your iPhone isn’t a professional sound system, you unoriginal, tone-deaf dick.

Sadly, I find that like most of rants about pop culture and the moral flaws that come with such, I am both appalled at the problem at hand, as well as being the problem itself.

And so today, for once, I’m not participating. I’m taking a stand! You and your snaps can all go to 24-hour expiration hell and I’m going to look at my shoes and enjoy my meal. Neither of which you will get to see. So there.

…I’ll probably be back tomorrow.

#SelfieYouLater,

Meg

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5 thoughts on “Snap(ped) chat

  1. Maria Celeste says:

    Love it! Especially the paragraph that starts with “And you know what the worst part of that is? I GET EXCITED ABOUT SAID PICTURE.” That was pure gold.

    Isn’t it terrible how we contribute to the very trends we most hate?

  2. Shane says:

    If that is truly the way conversation and communication happens today, I am appalled. Fwiw, I’m 29, I remember when I lived in Rome in my early 20s having paper made and little wax seals where I would write to friends and family in the States about what was going on in my life, a quick hello, or an “I miss you” to those few romantic interests. With what you have said, I could not fathom someone taking a solid 30 minutes to pen something unique and original if said person cannot even take “8 seconds” out of their exceptionally busy day! Good luck! I cannot help you with the graphic design, but assuredly can with the whiskey. -Shane

  3. Gray Phoenix Scott says:

    Loved it! It’s especially interesting as an outsider (i.e., in that I’ve never used Snapchat and only heard about it through an acquaintance who is using it to flirt with a girl from another state) to hear how this particular cultural phenomenon impacts and alters the already existing social norms around dating, which have already been altered by online dating at large before apps like Snapchat ever came around. Having also tested the waters of online dating on sites like match.com, OkCupid, and Plenty of Fish, I can wholeheartedly agree with you on some of the nastier consequences of this wonderful technology designed to actually connect more people and make it easier to communicate, yet in my opinion leaves us less accustomed and comfortable to face-to-face interaction (just see how many people walk down the street staring down at their phones, or people in waiting rooms texting/talking to people on their phones to kill the dead time rather than make small talk with the stranger sitting across from them).

    I have also personally got burned by sending an overly-long and thoughtful message to someone on OkCupid… Basically, after spending 15-20 minutes making sure I incorporated interests and things she wrote about in her profile, her response was “Gee, thanks for the cut-and-paste. Maybe next time you can write something unique?” flavor (not verbatim, but it was very trite and 1 or 2 sentences, blatantly cutting me off for what she assumed I had done).

    For one, I found it hard to believe she thought this was something I sent to every girl (I’d never even heard of the practice of sending the same generic message to every potential date) since I specifically brought up topics from her profile, but more importantly, this was a lengthy initial message (yeah, I realize I’ve probably scared off many potential friends/dates simply by writing too much!).

    A tangential way of saying I agree that we’re so acclimated to short abbreviated text messages, even in the world of dating, which used to consist of handwritten love letters (or at least flirtatious letters to a possible love interest), we’re cheapening the entire experience and really losing the true potential of how the internet and smartphones can make it easier to express ourselves more openly and fully, as in through video chat where we can actually see the facial expressions in addition to hearing tonal qualities of the other person…

    But instead, it’s devolved into this, apparently (I’ll take your word on it!) mostly taking the form of “stories” paradoxically composed only of pictures… If we aren’t even typing words to each other anymore, what exactly are these apps achieving? I guess more exposure for aspiring photographers?

    In a way, I think a lot of the addictive and alluring qualities of these apps is the instant gratification aspect. We’re conditioned as a society to be all about me me me, and to want everything done NOW and these apps satisfy all of those needs, as well as feeding into the ego (most of us secretly wish we were rock stars or celebrities, and who knows, our blog or IG or YouTube channel might go viral overnight, then we’ll be living the high life… and even if that doesn’t happen, having a few friends and followers would still be nice), but again, at the cost of an authentic connection formed by mutual interests and sharing each other in a way which pictures, even badly recorded concert clips, can’t express.

    It has been my experience, and maybe that’s why I have this belief, but it’s my opinion that perhaps this is leading to what online dating and relationship services were never intended for: more platonic cyber-only relationships which consist at most of sending you private SnapChats which they don’t post to their public story. I can’t count the number of profiles I’ve read where the chick writes “Just don’t tell anyone where we met, ha ha. Let’s just make something up, but they can’t know we met on an online dating site/app.”

    There’s a large stigma/embarrassment about what our friends and family might think if–heaven forbid–we were to tell the truth about meeting online, ’cause that’s just weird, and we might be labeled as losers since we apparently couldn’t meet someone the “traditional” way. I would of course scoff at such a judgment, since social norms are arbitrary, change from culture to culture, and change over time, so maybe we need to be more accepting of meeting people, and being proud about where we met them.

    The stalker/creep/weirdo fear is also there (partly for good reason; it’s unwise to give personal information like home address or thinking of meeting them in a non-public place without building a level of trust and using your best judgment, always following your gut-feeling and intuition about this person), so perhaps many claim to be looking for a new friend or date yet never really commit or follow through, essentially leading on everyone they come in contact with, content to “chat” and send pics through text message, or maybe TOO paralyzed by the irrational conclusion that “Some people online are weirdos, therefore, this person might be a weirdo…”?

    No clue, but I wonder if there is indeed a trend toward larger numbers of people using these services (so what?) but less meaningful interaction or meaningful lasting real-world relationships formed as a result.

    I wonder if you could hold out for the entire 24 hours? 😉

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