You know, when I got my first cell phone texting was the big thing to do. You could type out these little 160 character-limit messages to somebody and just say "Hey," "What's up?" and "Maaan, this class is whack," without giving away your position or getting other people involved in your business. To us texting was normal; but to people like my parents, they didn't understand why I couldn't just tell Stephanie "Hey," being that she was only mere feet away from me, or why I couldn't just call Nick and make plans for the evening in the span of 5 minutes with a phone call instead of dragging the conversation out for half an hour just to figure out which movie we wanted to see through text. And what did we tell them when they brought up these very valid points?
"You just don't get it." And they didn't. They just didn't get why texting was so liberating. No more snoops picking up the other line of the phone, or getting caught with late night phone calls. It was a late night text-a-thon every night here! And nobody knew any the wiser... well, you know, until you refused to get up in the morning for school, but whatever.
But those times are over. Soon, even my parents (well, my mom anyway) starting picking up the concept of texting. You know something has lost its cool factor when mom starts doing it, so what do people do? They make up a new cool way to communicate. Thus, the creation of Snapchat. Now it's my turn to look at this new way of communication, scrunch up my nose, and ask people who use it "Why would you ever want to use that?"
What is Snapchat? For those of you who don't know, Snapchat is a way of communicating through images that disappear after a certain amount of time. Say you take a picture of a goofy face and send it to your friend, but you don't really want that friend to save the image after it's been sent. You set your image to "self-destruct" within a few seconds. Of course, if your friend knows how to take a screenshot with their phone it's game over; you'll forever be known as "Doofus Face" among your friends until you change your name and move out of the country. But for the people who don't know how to take a screenshot, your secret is safe with them. Snapchat is essentially a new way for people to communicate through quick, easy-to-send pictures.
Although there's a lot of hubbub about why Snapchat has the self-destruct feature on its pictures, the idea has still caught on like wildfire, especially to kids. How do they use it? From my observation, they really enjoy taking pictures of their faces. Surprised face, duck face, kissy face, angry face, silly face... whatever face. They just like to send their friends pictures of their faces. It's a phenomenon I can't really grasp the concept of. Even as a teenager I felt it was awkward taking my own picture from the ever-so-popular "MySpace angle", espcially because I was doing it in the only place that I was comfortable taking my own picture - the bathroom. Every time I go back through my profile pictures I cringe at the fact that my background of choice was my bathroom for most pictures. "Look at me, I'm smiling because I just love my bathroom so much!" "Having fun in the bathroom! Hehe!"
And it's fun to send these pictures of your face to your peers so they can see just how happy you truly are in any given moment. I mean, look how happy this girl is:
I'M SO HAPPY BECAUSE I'M OUTSIDE I'VE NEVER BEEN OUTSIDE BEFORE IT'S WONDERFUL OUT HERE OXYGEN IS AWESOME I'M HAVING SO MUCH FUN LOOK AT MY FAAAAAACE!
That. That's what I don't get. Who cares? The whole idea was like, "Oh, this is great way to share what you're doing with your friends in real time!" but as it turns out, most of the time you don't even get to see what they're actually doing. You just get a few seconds of each photo that depicts a different facial expression. Some people even have the strange habit of saying something along the lines of, "Loving the beautiful Caribbean Cruise I'm on for the week!" but takes a selfie in their cruiseline bathroom. Yeah, thanks for the picture of your face but I was hoping to see the beautiful Caribbean you mentioned - you know, the thing that the rest of us back home aren't able to see. But it's just the cool thing to do now. Snapchat is becoming the new cool, and I just don't get the appeal. Therefore, I'm old. Or maybe just unclear of the true purpose of this application, but from siblings, to neighbors, to cousins all I see them using is Snapchats of their faces being sent in responses to other Snapchats of other people's faces, and it just keeps going back and forth!
Kids these days.
Readers, do you use applications like Snapchat? If so, what do you use them for? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!