When I first heard of Snapchat my impression of it was of teenagers sending each other troll face pictures and other high school-esque photos. What type of value in communication can even come from a 10 second video that “disappears” after you receive it? When sending a message, posting an image, or uploading a video, why would anyone want it to vanish after it was viewed just one time? Most importantly for us who are in our late 20s (or early 30s, ahem) is it creepy to be using Snapchat?
After using Snapchat for a few months, here are my findings:
1. Snapchat is actually a great informal way to connect.
Keeping in touch with friends across the country has its way of degrading over time. Yes there is email, yes there is Facebook, and yes there is Twitter, but there is an element of personalization when you get a video direct from a friend. Not a video that is going to be shared with your other friends, or your Aunt Tilly, but made just for you.
2. Snapchat keeps you on your toes.
Whenever you get a “snap” from one of your friends it has a tendency to keep you on your toes. I’ve gotten snaps from friends asking what is going on for the weekend and then followed up with a snap of them lip-synching the intro song from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Snapchat is rarely a boring social media experience.
3. Snapchat creepiness comes from within.
Just like anything else, the creepiness comes from within. Sure you could look at Snapchat as a way to creep on or creep people out, but ultimately that is up to you. One of my friends Snapchats with girls he meets when he is out, but chooses to do so in a non-creepy way. He has told me about a few times when he has received “drunk snaps” that can fall into the creepy category, but it’s just like anything else: what you send out is what you’re probably going to get back.
In our generation there will be many new social platforms that will continue to launch, which will always bring up the age old question of “is it creepy for me to use X?” The answer will always be no, it’s not creepy, it is just comes down to how you decide to use it. Some people will choose not to use Snapchat because of the outward impression of it being just for teenagers, but there is actually some inherent value in getting private video messages direct from your friends and family.
If you do decide to download and try out Snapchat you might even be surprised which friends and family members are already using the social platform. If you do decide to take the Snapchat plunge, let me know by sending me a snap (to: dangheesling) and I’ll do my best to respond, as long as your snap isn’t creepy.