In 2011, “Snapchat” was merely an idea that two students presented as their final project at Stanford University. Just over two years later, a CNBC article has estimated that it is worth $800 million and that 200 million snaps are shared every single day. For many college students, these snaps are either making or breaking their relationships.
Three years ago, no one even uttered the words “Snapchat” amongst friends at a bar. There was no wondering what it meant if someone opened a snap and didn’t respond. And, wait, who is his top best friend on Snapchat? was not even an issue. But today, it is taking over.
Couples that existed years before Snapchat ever did are now fighting over each other’s recent histories on the app, and the fact that “Best friends,” one’s most frequent Snapchat buddies, are public does not help.
I have girlfriends who have gotten in huge arguments with their boyfriends over who has sent him snapchats as well as vice versa. Snapchat somehow holds this hugely meaningful connotation that it probably doesn’t deserve.
How many characters of text can a snapchat even hold? Certainly fewer than a tweet. An image has a maximum capacity of ten seconds; yet, those ten measly seconds have the ability to smudge every ounce of trust that one has in a significant other.
Then, there are the people who love to boast about their best friends on Snapchat and will do anything to maintain them. Having one of her crushes as a best friend on Snapchat can make a girl think it means way more than it actually does. Meanwhile, they’ve only sent a few casual pictures back and forth. The craziest part: those best friends’ lists will change faster than you can say “snapchat.”
How about that ex who won’t stop snapchatting you? Or the creepy guy who won’t leave you alone? Sure, you could just leave it and not open the snap, but somehow, even the most unrequited of snapchats are too tempting to not peak at.
A lot of girls, and probably some guys, use Snapchat to show off how good they think they look in hopes that it will impress the person they’re trying to entice. A text message can’t show off your flawless eyeliner and new dress, right?
But let’s talk about the state of mind that most snapchats are shared in, usually late at night before an evening out on the town. A lot of people feel that snapchats are much less risky than text messages when it comes to rejection. Some can convince themselves that it’s more casual and it doesn’t matter as much if a crush doesn’t respond compared to a text message.
For this reason, the magical act of disappearing is part of snapchat’s appeal and its demise. An ignored text will stay there forever, and the next time you think about texting that person, it will haunt you. But with a snapchat, it’s almost like it never even happened.
At the same token, one can also find his or herself wondering what did I snapchat last night? The pictures are gone forever, and all that’s left are the read-receipts and maybe some new “BFF’s.”
So find the right lighting, and be sure to say “cheese,” because Snapchat is here to stay.