See your dream “bae” walking through campus…snap it! See your best friend puking in the toilet after a fun night…snap it! Eat a pile of hot wings at Buffalo Wild Wings…snap it! When your hair is on point after spending countless minutes pushing it into place…snap it! Snapchat has become one of the most popular types of social media available to individuals today by allowing individuals to snap pictures of the random things they do throughout the day to their friends. Depending on who you choose to snap, Snapchat can either be a great way to connect with the people in your life, or it can be a terrible mishap that you just can’t seem to part ways from.
Some of my friends have argued that Snapchat isn’t actually a form of social media due to its lack of ability to like, comment, and share things that your friends are doing. However, with its ever-growing popularity it’s very hard to deny the fact that it truly is a form of social networking. According to a recent report by comScore, Snapchat is now the third most popular social app with 32.9% penetration into the young users’ cell phone falling short to both Instagram (43.1%) and Facebook (75.6%).
Most people in this day and age know what Snapchat was mainly created for, but if you don’t, I will fill you in. Snapchat actually originated as an app called Picaboo in which individuals could send pictures to friends that would self-delete after a certain amount of time and later resurfaced as Snapchat. Due to the nature of Snapchat automatically deleting photos after being viewed, people would take nude pictures of themselves and send them to others without the risk of getting in legal trouble for. Luckily, society isn’t a total train wreck and converted it to more of a way to connect with friends and share all of your daily moments that you deem to be “oh so important.” In a recent study on Psychology Today, researchers discovered that 1.3% of people reported using Snapchat specifically for sexting and 14.2% reporting using it for sexting occasionally. Apparently these people didn’t get the memo…
Snapchat has become one of the biggest and most common ways that young individuals who use it often communicate. Many individuals, including myself, would rather choose to either message someone through Snapchat or send a picture through Snapchat for multiple reasons. One of my main reasons is the stalking factor. Now, I don’t literally mean you’re going to go out and follow the person around. Instead, I mean that Snapchat allows you to see when someone opens your snap allowing you the opportunity to determine if someone is ignoring you or not. Also, many individuals like to post things onto their stories when they are out and about allowing you to determine whether or not they (or your lover) is telling the truth. Another reason, that I personally use more than the first, is the enjoyment of sending totally embarrassing photos to your closest friends with confidence that the whole world will never see it because it will disappear within at least ten seconds. Most people with Snapchat have sent some sort of embarrassing photo or “pooping selfie” to their closest friends because you really just don’t care. So go ahead, hit your friends with one of these:
Even though Snapchat may be all fine and dandy with your friends, a current study displayed on Bustle found that Snapchat can actually cause more romantic jealousy than Facebook. The researchers found that the private nature of Snapchat leads to more relationship issues due to the information being passed between people may be being viewed as secretive and suspicious. Snapchat has also contributed to this level of distrust by changing the amount of information an individual is allowed to see. When Snapchat first came out, one could see who a person’s top three Snapchat friends were and believe it or not, this gave people an incredible sense of trust. The amount of people I heard using someone’s top snap friends as a reference for which man or woman liked them was insane. “Well I’m his top Snapchat” was one of the most common statements I heard by many girls and it gave them an incredible peace of mind knowing that they were the most common person that their man crush was snapping. The rest of the people who weren’t on the top three were basically non-existent and out of the picture. Now that Snapchat has removed this feature, many of the trust issues that men and women face in their romantic relationships stem from the question of “who are you snapping”.
Jealousy through Snapchat isn’t strictly applicable to romantic relationships either. Many individuals also experience forms of jealousy through friendships by the things they get to see on Snapchat. So your friends snapped pictures of themselves at the mall while you’re sitting at home doing the Netflix and chill alone? Tell me how you feel. Many individuals feel jealousy and envy towards other individuals which can actually spark relationship turmoil with people who you may be romantically involved with or not. I don’t know how many times I have gotten irritated seeing my friends having a good time without telling me or inviting me to join them. Do they have every right to do things without me? Yes, but the feeling of not being involved is something that affects everybody whether they choose to admit it or not.
On the flip side, Snapchat has also been shown to both increase the strength of friendships and actually boost self-esteem when used in a positive manner. In a recent study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, girls actually said that Snapchat helped raise their self-esteem by allowing them to take both funny (true-self) photos of themselves along with also taking photos that make themselves feel more attractive. On top of this, many individuals feel more comfortable snapping their close friends with their ugliest double chin and duck face photos because they know that their friends will not judge them. In terms of dating, Snapchat allows people to see a side of someone they might not have seen through Facebook or the cliché mirror picture you come across on Tinder. Not going to lie, I always Snapchat people before ever meeting them because it really seems to help weed out the people you may not be interested in. Many individuals have also found comfort in Snapchat with many of their long distance relationships with friends and romantic partners. Snapchat allows a person to keep in touch with their friends they don’t get to see as much along with also being able to video chat through one of Snapchat’s many features.
Even though I threw a lot of hate towards Snapchat, I still have to admit that I am a very avid user of Snapchat to the point where I literally snap all day long. I snap my friends, I snap my new crush, I could even snap total strangers without caring. I just literally love getting to know people through Snapchat. I think it is a wonderful way to connect with people and express yourself in a way that you might not be comfortable doing through other forms of social media. So go ahead and send that embarrassing double chin, duck face, deuces photo to your friends. The odds are they will love it and will hit you back with something even better.
Snap away my friends…