Sorry we're not sorry for what we're about to say … we don't like SnapChat. The message-vanishing app is about to receive funding that'll put the value of their company at a cool $10 billion, which is proof that our opinion is not a popular one, but hear us out.
Sorry we're not sorry for what we're about to say … but we don't like SnapChat. The message-vanishing app is about to receive funding that'll put the value of their company at a cool $10 billion, which is proof that our opinion is not a popular one, but hear us out.
SnapChats can be funny and nice … but so can Venus fly traps and Ted Bundy when they lure in their unassuming prey. Under the surface, SnapChat is just a blisteringly awkward stab at validating your existence.
Hear us out … if you disagree, feel free to SnapChat all your friends a photo of you with surprised duck-face next to this article … but if you agree, the you must be eating enough fruits and vegetables because your brain is functioning on point. Here's where we're coming from:
1. SnapChats are nuclear selfies on steroids
If selfies exemplify today's culture of extreme narcissism, SnapChats take that culture to a level only comprehensible by those who are currently being sucked into a black hole. They're just elongated selfies, with more of the person who's mundane existence you give no fucks about present for a longer amount of time in front of your retinas. True, sometimes they're hilarious, but they'd be equally as hilarious if they were on another app or social media platform, where you could save yourself from the image by quickly scrolling past it at a rate suitable for you.
Ain't nothing wrong with a little selfie action from time-to-time, but when selfies are sent specifically to you by someone who made a conscious decision to do that, it's a full-frontal selfie attack, and we're running for the hills.
2. They're flattering 0% of the time
Most SnapChats are necessarily conceived in moments of feverish giddiness over the inane, which results in shaky, poorly lit snippets of someone's life. Okay sure, maybe your friend was levitating after a period of intense meditation (a totally SnapChat-able moment,) but the shadows blur the distance they were off the ground and the grainy texture makes them seem Photoshopped from real life onto a set.
Lo and behold, no one believes you that your friend defied gravity. Suddenly you're a liar. Suddenly, you have no more friends to SnapChat … suddenly you find yourself separating bottles from cans in people's trash cans, sporting dread locks and duct-tape sandals. Only then will you wish you had been able to edit that footie before you hit send. True story.
3. SnapChat content is, for some reason, the most trivial content of all
There's something about SnapChat that lends itself perfectly to documenting the trivial. You eating a corn dog at a bowling alley. You having a cat on you. You looking at your feet.
Sure, people attempt to capture banality on other platforms like Instagram and Vine, but with SnapChat, the fact that it disappears instantly makes it impossibly more trivial. If your friend had sent you a regular photo of their toes with the caption "I have ten of them!" on something on a platform that allowed it to linger, you would at least be able to contemplate the surely philosophical meaning of it. But the nature of SnapChat invites people to send more boring things, because there's no time for you to overanalyze the meaning of them. It allows people to feel safe being shitty documenters of the human condition, which would be fine if it wasn't blowing up your phone when you're having an important conversation with your boyfriend about how he should finger you more.
4. They vanish into thin air like your Tinder date the moment you try for morning sex
We'll be the first to admit that sometimes, SnapChats can be really funny. The one where Becky was duckfacing on Facetime for her illegitimate internet boyfriend when she walked into an open manhole and was never heard from again? That was pretty good. But even if you do manage to capture a moment worth sharing, you can suck it, because it's gone forever (unless you add them to your Story, but ain't nobody got time for that.) No one who's not on your SnapChat friend's list will never believe that you made out with Sanjay Gupta at Panera Bread because when it's gone, it fades into some sort of forgetfulness ether.
More importantly, the speed with which they vanish implies that whatever message someone is trying to send you is followed by something like. "…Bye!" or "… Fuck off!" It's like the app equivalent of your friend running up to you and screaming "I'm at a really fun concert I didn't invite you to … bye!" and then running away. Your only choice following an outburst like that is to stare blankly just past people's foreheads for the rest of the day.
5. You never know how to reply
From a social interaction standpoint, SnapChat blurs all the lines of comfortable non-awkwardness. By nature, when someone sends you a SnapChat of them looking surprised near a boat, they expect a response. They did, afterall, specifically click a little circle next to your name, signifying that they wanted you in particular to see them posing next to a cardboard cut-out of Woody Allen. But that's awkward, because you don't like Woody Allen. You don't want to respond, but if you don't you're an asshole. If you do, they'll keep sending you things. It's a Sophie's Choice of shit.
With other social media avenues like Instagram or Facebook, a response isn't necessarily expected; it's more like you post something and hope to dear god that someone validates your existence by liking it. With SnapChat, you can only tell if someone's watched it, not if they like it. By that logic, if you see that many people have watched it, but no one has replied, then your already-fragile self esteem explodes with the intensity of a thousands suns. See ya, confidence!
6. They're going to make it ever harder to watch porn
SnapChat has been in talks with Buzzfeed and Daily Mail as part of their upcoming SnapChat Discovery project, which will position ads against ephemeral contant like articles and videos. Basically, ads would become internet SnapChats, also known as pop-ups. Because the one thing you need when you're trying to research "blonde twins naked pillow fighting" is more pop-up ads. And even if SnapChat pop-ups don't show up on your "you time" websites, we can at least all agree that a pop-up ad for bail bonds in your area disguised as a SnapChat doesn't make it any less annoying.
7. They're selling out
Any time an app becomes as popular as SnapChat, you can bet your sweet ass that Microsoft or Apple will want to buy it. The reasons for that are varying, but whatever the reason, the sell-out usually leads to the app being shittier in the sense that the larger company's interests (in this case, potentially Microsoft), start to influence the smaller one's. There's no saying what it would look like if Microsoft or another similar mega-company were to purchase SnapChat, but if you start to get SnapChats from friends you forgot you had saying things like "Check out my brand new Windows phone, now with super-fast 4G service!" you know why.
8. It's the perfect vehicle for cheating
There's no easier way to cheat on your significant other than to sext your side-ass on SnapChat. Since there's no record of it existing in your phone, you can SnapChat them things like,"Girlfriend's out of town … when the cat's gone, the mice shall play/ wanna fuck?" without your partner stumbling across it while they scroll through your phone during your morning shower. There's also no preview of the SnapChat content when you're notified that you got once, which means that if your sucio or sucia sends you a nice photo of their raging genitals over SnapChat while you're hanging out with your partner, no one's the wiser. Only Satan's favorite app would make it that easy to cover up your tracks.
So now do you see what we're talking about?
If there's a redeeming message to all this, here it is: in a culture where people are desperate to stay relevant, SnapChat can help them seem desperate to stay relevant. And that deserves a place, doesn't it? That place is your SnapChat inbox.
If you really want to assert your existence, do something original, something that shows that you're capable of higher brain function, like calling or texting us to tell us about your experience at the bean bag store or whatever, okay? Okay.