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How Deleting Snapchat Improved My Life

The first time I noticed I had an obsession with Snapchat was pretty early on in highschool. As a freshman, I remember having around 90 snap streaks. At a certain point I took a step back and realized there’s no way you can have a genuine true relationship with 90 people. I claimed people as my friends whom I kept streaks with. I also realized a majority of “friends” were people I was just sending back and forth pictures to. Back in my hometown, every winter, I would go to this Religious camp. This camp of course was an “unplug” 3-day retreat weekend. Kids would sneak trap-phones on the bus. I didn’t even know what a trap phone was until these retreats. Trap phones, for those who do not know, are back-up phones. So in other words, these campers were turning in their phones and bringing backup phones…. just to keep their Snapchat streaks. There were kids at my school giving Snapchat passwords to friends back home, solely to keep their streaks going. Attending this camp enlightened me to say the least. Holy Moly, this was not a world I wanted to be a part of.

.After my freshman year, I made a drastic change with my intentions with Snapchat. I no longer kept authentic relationships through Snapchat and decided I could easily do that through text messages. The only reason I chose not to delete Snapchat after this was because of memories I had saved. Yet, another red-flag. In 2016, Snapchat created a concept, where you can save every video you’ve ever sent or made into storage separate from your phone camera roll. “Snapchat Memories’: basically a scandalous scrapbook on the app. At age 18, I lived in three different cities in the span of 6 months. I watched so many “lifetime” relationships disappear just like that. Even worse, I was reminded of it everyday by this app… Snapchat. I had access to years and thousands of memories with the click of a button. Different from a printed photograph that was thoughtfully directed behind the lense. I can argue that when I was in the transition of moving, Snapchat only served to isolate me more. When moving to a new city, I knew I had to put myself out there and meet new people but instead, I was constantly comparing my new friends to my old friends because of the daily reminders Snapchat helped provide. I had notifications popping up on my phone reminding me how much better my life had been 4 years ago. Life honestly became less enjoyable. I knew I would never be able to move forward having access to all those memories.

Snapchat not only becomes a way of comparison but also an addiction with instant gratification. Leaving an addiction allows you to discover a lot of the flaws that it may contain. Another red flag I noticed about Snapchat is private stories. In 2013, Snapchat came out with stories which allow you to post your Snapchats to the public rather than just send them to one person. Years later, Snapchat came out with a so-called “private story” that allows you to select certain people to view more private stories. For a while this was fun. The stories became more explicit, therefore stories became more funny and entertaining. As the years continued, private stories had a revolution. People were now creating private stories titled “My thoughts”. People began vlogging their every moments on snapchat. My overwhelming thought was W.W.J.D.? In my opinion, Jesus would be like why in the world are people posting about their day to day life? Gandhi would say the same thing. They are both right and most everyone living prior to 2010, would have the same exact mindset. Snapchat eliminated conversation. People posted so much on their snapchats, there was no reason to ask how someone was doing or how their day had been. Everyone had already viewed what had happened. For me, a Snapchat became a quick isolation from my surroundings. Imagine your in an elevator and someone walks in. Your floor 12 and of course… he’s floor 11. The first thing you would do is pull out my phone and go on an app to avoid the awkwardness. My app was Snapchat. I would be at a kickback and the so called “vibes' ' would be off and in this scenario what would I do? Well I would contribute to the silence. When feeling uncomfortable, I would go on Snapchat and if I didn’t have a conversation going, I would watch stories, and if I ran out of stories, I would watch bitmoji stories. While I do love cartoons every now and then, I was choosing to watch bitmoji stories over trying to make conversation with the people surrounding me. Snapchat replaced regular conversation with a single picture.

There are many more red flags that I became aware of after deleting the app. It is a little strange that we have access to everyone's location through the snapmap. Snapchat also did create a lot of scandals in my junior high from minors who did not understand how screenshots worked. In conclusion I think Snapchat is too personal of a social media platform. Personally I do not like people knowing every bit about my life or how I am spending my days. I prefer to share that in person, through simple conversation. You might think… oh Lyn but you post so much on Instagram. I try to be very intentional now on what I post on social media. Snapchat sometimes is comedic but the majority of it produces negative intentions such as social hierarchy and validation. Brenda would have never known that Karen and Beth hung out without her if it were not for Snap Maps. Being intentional with what you post on social media is always important. It’s important to ask yourself why you are posting something? Is this post to make someone jealous, or is this post supposed to be inspirational. As much as social media is awesome for sharing life updates, be aware of who your audience is. I know that I only truly know the smallest fraction of my social media followers and for that reason, I only post what I believe will benefit my career. For me I prefer for the ones who truly care to call and ask how I am doing rather than to see it through the internet.

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