Thursday, 4 July 2013

My Snapchat addiction


Now if you've come here thinking "Oooh that Holly June, she's a right sexter!" then I will hazard two guesses: 1) You've seen some media coverage about Snapchat and 2) You've never used it.

Snapchat is a photo and video sharing app that lets you decide how long your photo/video will be visible for, up to a maximum of 10 seconds. After that, it disappears. The press have hailed the app as a 'safe' way to send sexy snaps because once the image is gone, it's gone and they can't be shared. In fact, I've yet to see an article about Snapchat that doesn't mention sexting.

I work with young people, so I'm fully aware of the risks involved with  sexting. I'm also pretty digitally savvy, so I know that anything posted online; tweets, photos, videos etc. can never really truly be deleted from the internet. The data always exists somewhere. The same is true for Snapchat photos, they don't disappear and they're still stored somewhere on your phone albeit hidden away, not taking up space in your gallery.

In my line of work, if kids use something then I want to know everything there is to know about it, so a few months ago I downloaded Snapchat to get a better understanding of how it works. At first I just sent the odd snap here and there to a colleague and since then my friends list has grown to a whopping 5 people. But here's the thing, I now send multiple snaps every day.

In the past week I've sent my guy more Snapchats than texts and it's played a key part in my blossoming friendship with Amy, who recently made me burst out laughing with a picture of her and her boyfriend wearing polystyrene packaging on their heads. She also sent a video of herself dancing when I got a new job. THAT is what Snapchat is perfect for.

You see, it's all about being silly. The types of things I send I would never bother to text, email or tweet at someone. I know the photos will be viewed for a few fleeting moments and so I don't care if I'm not wearing make-up or my face is stupid (I am often pulling faces) or if it's something as dull as a banana with a face on it. The weirder the Snap, the better.

This isn't about creating lasting memories, it's about a tiny moment in your day, sharing something that will make someone smile. There's none of the artistic pressure you might feel with an app like Instagram though don't let that boundary your creative side (hello MS Paint style effects!) I get the same endorphin rush when I get a Snapchat alert that I did when I was 15 and texting boys for the first time and because I know I've only got a few seconds to see it, they command my full attention. When a message arrives, I often have to sit down and take a deep breath to mentally prepare myself for it.

For me, Snapchat is perfect for a small group of people that you have a great connection with. I don't think I could handle having hundreds of friends, nor would I want to receive images from randomly added strangers.

There are some great games you could play with this app. I read an  article about a family in the US who were separated over Christmas and used Snapchat to share photos of the various dishes they were eating with competing levels of delicious. I'll show you my mince pies if you'll show me yours, if you will. What a BRILLIANT idea!

With infinite opportunities for creativity and childishness, my Snapchat addiction shows no sign of waning, and there's yet to be a nipple in sight! (Edit: Just realised this is a lie, I did once get sent a photo of a knitted boob)

It's also really good for expressing your feelings about Game of Thrones.

18 comments:

  1. My Snapchat experiences so far have always involved sending or receiving pictures with fingers stuck up noses.

    Worth noting that you can take a screenshot of any picture you receive as well, although I believe that the sender gets a notification if you do that.

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  2. Hmm. I've heard so much about it, but not really been bothered to get involved. Maybe I should give it a whirl.

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  3. I promise that as long as we are friends I will send you Snapchats of me dancing when you get good news and of my face in a stupid arrangement at least once a day xx

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