Snapchat has been the main source of communication for our generation for a while now. I think that it is safe to say that it is actually ruining our lives. Snapchat is killing our social and communication skills. Here are some reasons why we need to start verbalizing our feelings instead of sending obscure selfies.
#1: There are unwritten “rules” of Snapchat. We all know them, right? Do I send a full-faced selfie, or just half of my face? Or do I just send a picture of the ground because I don’t actually want them to see that I haven’t showered in three days? Or do I send just a black screen to show that I’m interested enough to respond but not that interested? Also, when do I open their snap? If I open it too soon will that show that I have been waiting of them to respond? Seriously. What is this all about? Why are we so concerned with how fast we respond when we all literally have our phones on us at all times of the day? All of these questions are a product of using Snapchat as a main source of communication. We are so focused on what we are saying with our “Snapchat nonverbals” that we cannot form good, meaningful relationships with people in real life.
#2: “Talking” has somehow become a way to label a relationship. We hide behind our screens and call it a relationship when we’ve been “talking” to the same person for months without actually having a face-to-face interaction. We get flustered when we have to have a real-life conversation with the person. We can use Snapchat to say things to people we would never actually say to them in person. We can be way flirtier with someone over Snapchat than in person because we don’t see their immediate reaction. We can have a usually awkward and uncomfortable conversation over Snapchat because you can precisely plan out the words you want to say. It’s really nice to have a conveniently placed “delete” button on your keyboard. If you were having an actual, normal conversation with someone face-to-face, would you say the same words you are typing to them? No, probably not.
#3: We have started to define our friendships and depth of relationships by a number with a fire emoji behind it. Sending a black screen to someone just to keep the “streak alive” is not a relationship. It is really great that we have a 147-day streak with our locker neighbor from 3rd grade, but seriously, have we even tried to connect with them other than sending them a picture of our breakfast in the morning? Maintaining snap streaks is a sorry excuse for keeping in touch with people we don’t see every day. Instead of sending them our breakfast, we should maybe try and reach out. If we really want to call someone a friend, we need to start initiating conversations, not to keep that streak going, but because we should actually start to care about others deeply.
Do I use Snapchat? Absolutely. I’ve started to realize these things because of my own Snapchat use. Yes. Snapchat can be great! It is super fun to be able to communicate with someone (sort-of) face-to-face, especially in the world we are living in now. It is great to be able to see someone’s reaction when you send them something. However, I do think that we must be careful with how much we use Snapchat for our daily interactions with people.
We are social beings. God created us to be in relationships with people. So, next time you are snapchatting that special someone, remember that a physical, in person conversation will mean so much more than just a selfie of half your face with a few words on it.