When it comes to keeping in contact with my cousins in California or a friend I met over spring break, I’m quick to open Snapchat. Now, I’ve found the current everyday uses and purpose of the app are not only useless and pointless, but also demeaning to teens and their relationships.
I’ve always harbored bitter-sweet feelings about Snapchat because I still use it, but lately my confusion for the established significance of the app has grown and the weight of expectations this app carries has gotten out of hand.
It seems that I hear a new complaint in the halls and from my friends about Snapchat every day: a crush left someone on open, a 400-or-so day streak was lost or someone lied about where they were and left their Snap Map location on.
I can’t help but cringe when I hear these objections.
It’s confusing hearing people complain to a person they’re with about being left on open by them and urging them to respond. It completely defeats the purpose and the useful qualities of the app, being able to stay in touch with friends when apart. These objects demonstrate how Snapchat has been decaying relationships.
The desperate thirst for a picture of someone’s forehead, half of their face or a picture of the ceiling is very unclear for me. It’s okay to want attention from a crush or friend, but being left on “open” or “delivered” has escalated to “this person hates me.”
My friends have gotten angry at me on multiple occasions for not responding or “keeping our streak alive” and they assume I’m mad at them for some unknown reason. The ultimate reason is simple — I don’t care. Listen besties — I love you, but I don’t care about an insignificant number next to your Snapchat username.
The Snap Map feature, a way for users to check the location of their friends, is very unsettling. There is the option to ghost your friends and turn off Snap Map (which could really only be for suspicious intentions), but those who have it on simply annoy me with the constant checking and needing to know where your friends are, what they’re doing and who they’re with.
Observing and analyzing someone’s Snap Score, the amount of Snapchats they’ve sent, and also checking the last time they were active on the app merely adds to the list of privacy invasions. I understand the fear of missing out, but the paranoia that results in the little importance snapchats and Snap Scores have is wasted worry.
After snapping their crush, some of my friends will check their Snap Score to see if the number has increased, by snapping other people and not them. My mindset is, if they want to respond to you, they will. There’s no need to investigate who other people are responding to and then confront them about not responding to you personally.
Yes, I still use the app, I do snapchat my friends and a response from a crush may make my heart skip a beat. But the purpose of the app has been exaggerated and its’ initial purpose of connection is becoming more distanced from what the app is currently being used for. It’s deteriorating relationships instead of keeping friends close, it’s solely relied on and being brought up when friends have face to face confrontations as to why they haven’t snapped back.
Snapchat should be used less and users should stop reading so much into pictures and numbers that have no significance with real, human relationships.