Ah Snapchat. If Instagram and Vine had a baby, and that baby grew up to be a dysfunctional alcoholic, that baby would be Snapchat. With the exception of old school Nokia users (and those poor souls who were stupid enough to get a Windows phone) the vast majority of people seem to have at least dabbled in Snapchat, ranging from the casual user to full-blown addicts. Now I’m not going to give some Vice-esque hipster rant denouncing Snapchat as the death of our generation (or some similar bollocks), as quite frankly I think it is a brilliant thing. But, as with any social media platform, it is abused far, far too often.
The way I see it, Snapchat is a bit like alcohol: great in moderation, but too much will inevitably lead to an embarrassing, incoherent mess, much to the disapproval of your friends and peers. This particular metaphor works on multiple levels, as alcohol is almost universally involved in the worst of all Snapchat stories: the ‘look at me having fun in a club’. How anyone could think others would find a shaky, blurry 10 second video of them in a dark club drunkenly singing and/or dancing along to some godawful EDM song is beyond me. But hey, why just stop at one, obviously everyone needs to know this is not simply a one-time thing, you’re having fun ALL NIGHT, and the only way to portray your unparalleled social life is to take EVEN MORE grainy footage of your fascinating experiences in Sinners with your phone’s shitty camera.
“The way I see it, Snapchat is a bit like alcohol: great in moderation, but too much will inevitably lead to an embarrassing, incoherent mess, much to the disapproval of your friends and peers”
A fun new development of Snapchat is all the various new filters granting the unparalleled ability to turn yourself into a bizarre cartoon dog, your face the wrong way round, faceswaps, that rainbow-out-the-mouth thing, etc. And by fun, I mean fun for the first 2 hours. The fact you’ve turned yourself into a bunny for Easter somewhat loses its comedic value when literally everybody else on Snapchat has done exactly the same. (On a side note, whoever in Snapchat’s creative department thought it would be a good idea to add the ability to digitally blackface people for 420 were definitely far too high for their own good). I do have to admit, the face swap feature is fun if used cleverly – a friend of mine’s faceswap with a poorly-made bust of Shakespeare is perhaps the most terrifying hilarious thing I’ve seen in a while – however this sort of creativity is few and far between. I suppose what I’m trying to say is, if you are to involve filters in your Snapchats, for fuck’s sake make it something that other people will find even remotely interesting!
“I suppose what I’m trying to say is, if you are to involve filters in your Snapchats, for fuck’s sake make it something that other people will find even remotely interesting!”
I am, however, certainly not suggesting people stop using Snapchat all together. The key, as with most things in life, is moderation. So next time you drunkenly prepare to take a Snapchat stop for a minute, and ask yourself these questions: will this shaky video make any sense whatsoever out of context? Will anyone else actually find this selfie of me as a dog funny? Do I really need 36 near-identical videos of this terrible club in my Snapchat study? Should I join a support group for my crippling Snapchat addiction? Otherwise, by all means, Snapchat away!