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Snapchat: Snap Out Of It Before It Is Too Late

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The ‘me generation’ is here. The most recent addition to the work force making older generations grumpy. We are obsessed with ourselves. We take copious amounts of selfies and brag about everything we do on every available platform.

Yes, we are obsessed with ourselves. However I’d much rather my friends love themselves over them hating themselves, and I love when people are so proud of something they have done that they want to share it with everyone. Furthermore, a selfie or two is not destroying the world or our brains.

The self-obsession is not really what concerns me; what worries me is the way people measure their self-worth (whether that is their looks or their life in general) through the response they receive on a social media platform.

Enter Snapchat: the social network designed to let you send 10-second long photos or videos to your friends. The second level to the app is ‘Snapchat Stories’. This is the same idea however the photos and videos stay on the app for 24 hours allowing you to document your entire life to all of your Snapchat friends. As a concept though, Snapchat definitely appears to have its merits. It is an app that deletes whatever content you send forever from both your phone and the recipient’s phone and also notifies you if someone’s taken a screenshot of your pictures, hence assuring safety. But sadly, this has gone too far. Some members of the ‘me generation’ cannot leave the house and have fun without providing a behind-the-scenes live feed to everyone they know via the app.

This tendency to overshare perfectly supports the argument about young people being unable to live in the moment. We see it everywhere. People watch entire concerts of their favourite artists through their phone screens, and then they upload it with the intent of making others envious, “LOOK! I HAD AN AMAZING TIME AND YOU DIDN’T”. This then progresses into “TELL ME THAT IT LOOKS SO GREAT AND THAT YOU WISH YOU WERE THERE”.

Now replace that concert with a party, or a nightclub, or in some cases an ordinary day and we get to what is really troubling and slightly frustrating. People are constantly taking photos and videos and uploading them to their Snapchat without a second thought. Why can’t we have fun without telling everyone about it? Why can’t we dance around and spend quality time with our friends without spending the entire evening looking at them through the screen of our phones? Your ability to go out, have fun and enjoy your life isn’t determined by other people agreeing with you that your life is great.

Is this just more bragging? Is it attention-seeking behaviour? Or is it just more evidence that today’s youth need to reassure themselves about every aspect of their life. They need to both BE the best and HAVE the best of everything. Everything about our self-worth is measured according to our social networking friends.

Why am I only targeting Snapchat here? Other social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are less futile in my opinion (only marginally). I’ve noticed that people put considerably more thought into what they post on those platforms over what they post on Snapchat. You are less likely to see a two hundred second video of incoherent snippets of nightclub scenes on Facebook. There are some people who post photos to Instagram at a specific time to ensure they can get the most likes possible (it’s around 8 PM, if you’re wondering.) It’s a little messed up and seems like they are marketing them selves for ‘likes’, how very entrepreneurial.

Today, Snapchat is second nature to many people. This app has become everyone’s favorite form of social media. Although it can be used as a fun way to document your moments with friends, slowly this app is becoming extremely consuming.

Try going out for once without documenting it on Snapchat. Put down your phone for a few hours. Live your life through your own eyes, according to your own rules and your own standards. Do not let a view count determine how you value yourself, guys. Trust me, you’ll still have fun, and I’m sure you won’t even notice a difference..It’s been tried and tested for many, many years now.

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