Among the many aspirations I have set for the summer months, becoming attuned with the concept of mindfulness rests at the top of the list. My studies so far have yielded positive, and applicable results, and I hope to further my knowledge of it.
For those unaware, mindfulness pertains to living in the moment, finding appreciation within every aspect of life, good or bad. A simple introduction would be to begin taking note of each breath as you inhale and exhale.
As for snapchat, the app scourge that finds itself comfortably posited on the screens of perhaps all smartphones, it oddly pertains to mindfulness, I recently noticed.
How, you might ask. As I scrawled a message across my tiny phone screen in an array of colors, and thoughtlessly tapped the send arrow, I realized that I, as well as many others, might be missing the point.
Sure, it’s an effective tool for communication and sending explicit photos, but the app is pregnant with meaning that extends beyond the lol’s and nuances of every red notification mark on an iPhone screen.
The defining feature of Snapchat, is its finality. Lasting only 10 seconds, each snap is a portrait of everyday life that, unless screen capped or found via a government database, is ultimately gone forever.
Similarly, each moment we live is fleeting, something that we simply lack the ability to hold onto. Within this frame, Snapchat seems to ascribe a more solemn value, when in fact it’s far from that.
Unlike Facebook, which ultimately is a highlight reel, and inaccurate and unrealistic portrayal of the lives of those who frequent it, snapchat’s entire concept is enveloped within the primary definition of mindfulness: living in the moments that we will ultimately lose.
It is at this point that I should clarify: snapchat can save your life, in such a manner that it will cause you to reflect and rethink your approach to this one, magnificent attempt at making a difference on this rock that we call Earth.
Although, I love the gratification and affirmation I get from posting on my Snap story and relishing in the fact that other people will see it, I use my newfound perspective to “snap” each moment I have. Because literally every breath is a miracle in and of itself.
This is not to say that anyone is living life “wrong,” and I hope that is not the lasting takeaway.
Next time you’re about to take a picture, remove the phone from between you and the subject for a change. We have eyes for a reason, and a second lens such as a phone isn’t always necessary.