My Breakup with Snapchat </3

When I first deleted my Snapchat, I never thought it would last. Just like a romantic relationship, I thought that our attachment had grown too strong and I just wanted to take a ~break~ to get some much needed space.

“It’s not you Snapchat, it’s me.” I thought to myself.

Well, a whole ten months post-breakup… turns out Snapchat, it actually was you.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Just like every other college student, I used to live for my Snapchat. There was never a night out, funny moment or post-workout selfie that was not featured on my snap story. Snapchat became my primary mode of communication for friends that were away at other colleges and even for my BC friends who I saw every day. Little conversations that could have occurred over text turned into perfectly staged selfie snaps with fun filters instead.

snapchat addict

When I was home for winter break last year, it suddenly dawned on me how attached I was to my Snapchat. I was planning a trip with my friends and the first thing that popped into my mind was how exciting the geotag would be in that location. I didn’t even think the trip itself would be that exciting but on social media it would certainly look like it. I realized that I wanted everything “fun” in my life to be on social media or else it would feel like it wasn’t worth it. Had I really become so superficial that I couldn’t enjoy spending quality time with my friends without showing everyone else that it was happening? I wondered if half the things I put on my snap story were nearly as exciting or enviable as they looked in pictures. I was frightened by the thought and in conjunction with the “new year, new me” mentality that hits everyone after New Year’s, I decided to delete my Snapchat.

The first couple of days without having my Snapchat were definitely the hardest. Just like in a relationship, when something exciting or sad or wonderful happens, you immediately want to text that person and share it with them; I felt the same way about sharing those moments on Snapchat.

This sounds crazy right? Because I think it kind of is. We are all so attached to our social media accounts nowadays- and especially Snapchat because it is so present- that sometimes our first instinct is to share with social media instead of actual people we know and care about.

Somehow it’s been almost ten months since I deleted my Snapchat and happy to say that I am still alive! It has definitely been an adjustment to not be constantly inundated with snaps from friends and worrying about getting the perfect lighting for my selfie but a good change after all. (Quick side note, let’s not forget that social media is so ubiquitous now that although I deleted my Snapchat, I am still very much stalking my friends’ lives on Facebook, Instagram and let’s be serious… even Venmo.)

In these last ten months, here are a couple of the things I have realized:

  • I’m really not missing out on too much. I’m sure I have missed some hilarious photos and videos of my friends (especially my friends from home) but a majority of snaps are pretty negligible.
  • Any information that I missed on Snapchat will eventually be shared with me if it’s important enough. I’ve had multiple “omg I forgot you don’t know because I put it on snapchat!!!” conversations but I end up finding out the information eventually.
  • Being able to go out and do fun things without being obsessed with getting a photo of it is actually pretty liberating.
  • Less FOMO when you don’t have to see the snaps, wooh!

fomo

So in conclusion, Snapchat I still love you and miss you…. But it really is better if we stay apart. I enjoyed our time together but our time is over… for now. I hope we can still be friends.

12 comments

  1. I loved your post and the voice you used to talk about your hard breakup. Glad to hear you are doing well 10 months later :) Self reflection is very hard to do and I’m impressed you were able to recognize the somewhat negative impact Snapchat was having on your day to day life interacting with family and friends. I was at a Bachelorette party a few months ago and I remember overhearing the brides younger sister mention how much she had missed so much on Snapchat since being focused on the Bachelorette weekend. At one point she frantically tried to look through some of her snaps before dinner. I could sense her stress at having missed so much and having so many unopened snaps. I share this story because I think it is important we all reflect on what emotions social media is creating, and how these emotions may impact others around us. Thank you for sharing your story. You’ve reminded me of how important it is to self reflect, even when it comes to social media.

  2. *Virtual high five* It is so refreshing to finally meet someone who holds the same sentiments towards Snapchat as I do! I cannot tell you how many times a day I used to be interrupted while focusing on work because of the little jolt of excitement I got when I see I had received a Snap. I finally realized, much like you did, that while Snapchat took up only little mini-moments of my day, those moments added up and I ended up wasting precious minutes of my day that I could’ve used towards much more productive means than seeing random selfies my friends took. Unfortunately, my friends aren’t the best support group, because they are just as addicted to Snapchat as ever. One of my friends seems to constantly be taking Snaps whenever I’m with him, including one every morning when we go to the gym with the temperature to complain about how cold it is outside. Marketers I think will start realizing that more and more people hold our same sentiments, and eventually divest away from Snapchat.

  3. Wow, I’m impressed. It’s sad that I would like to think that I could also follow your lead and delete my SnapChat, but I’m pretty confident that I would not be able to last. Even more than just posting for myself, I would not be able to handle not seeing everyone else’s snaps. Which is stupid because you make a very good point that the majority of them are completely insignificant and irrelevant. Nonetheless, I don’t think I would able to handle it. I guess I could say that my FOMO will exist with or without the app. I don’t even understand why to be honest because most of time I end up clicking through people’s stories without actually paying attention and watching them anyway. However, even though we all blame SnapChat for ruining our social interactions and making us more concerned with “showing” our fun than actually enjoying the people around us, I do genuinely believe that SnapChat can be used for “good” so to speak. My mom has maybe 10 or so friends on SnapChat (which is basically nothing) and she absolutely loves the app because she gets to send and receive pictures/videos from my brothers and I, as well as my dad, cousins, etc. She loves getting snap of my brother and I in the library or even us out at a party together. She loves that she can send snap of what she is doing and tell us how much she misses us. I guess it just depends on how you use the app because we all know our generation doesn’t understand the concept of moderation haha. Either way, congrats on this!

  4. I like the humor throughout your post. Describing deleting an app as a “breakup” is so accurate. I’ve contemplated deleting Snapchat so many times – but have never executed. Your post is actually really inspiring me to do the same!

    I echo your frustration with forgetting about the experience and being more focused on how the experience is portrayed via social media. Instagram creates a similar effect. I know several friends (myself included, at times) that have planned outings or gone to certain places just to have the pictures for an Instagram post later. It becomes a competition to appear to have the coolest life. Traveling, socializing, and eating junk food have all become glamorized.

    The main reason I have yet to quit Snapchat is to avoid the “Did you see that Snapchat?” conversations. As much as I hate to admit it, I would fear being out of the loop and not being able to join in on the laughter about the ridiculous post from last weekend. At the end of the day, however, I care more about enjoying my day-to-day life instead of cultivating a persona on Snapchat, so maybe it’s time for a breakup.

  5. I recently created a Snapchat account and I think the app is great. I’m someone who has always texted a lot. Instead of taking a photo and texting it to 8 people and then having a full blown conversation about it (or posting it on IG or FB), it’s just easier to Snap it – most people watch and don’t respond and some respond with a quick “lol.” Also saves me from having to delete all of those ridiculous photos from my camera roll :-)

    Social media can be exhausting – and I think @shapirobenjamin makes a great point… those “short moments” make up valuable minutes/hours of our time that could be spent elsewhere. Social media will always be around and it’s up to you how much time and energy you put into it.

  6. Rebecca this is such a great post. Interesting to see how you made the decision to break up and abandon snapchat. It really takes so much courage to let go. Your post ties up with Luyhan Zhangs post about social media pressures. We find ourselves attached, and obsessed with social media and we feel the pressure and urge to show the world that we are happy. But most of the times whats shown is different then whats felt. I salute your approach , and think that as you said if something is important it will be communicated to you in time. Its hard however to make the decision. With all these snapchat improvements over the past few months, don’t you feel like you want to redownload it soon. Great content, and great takeaways. Simple, structured, and straight to the point. Good Job !!

  7. While reading through your post I was starting to feel the FOMO myself as I recently lost my phone about a week ago and (still phone less) have constantly been hearing similar comments from my friend such as “oh I thought you knew because it was on my snap story”. However as frustrated as I was at first, I can definitely say the anxiety has resided. I have found myself being present for the first time in my day to day settings, and not having the pressure to constantly scroll through everything on instagram and twitter has been a relief. Although not to be hypocritical, I’m sure once I get my phone back I was be equally as consumed with it as I once was. But I can’t complain about the little vacation its given me these last few days.

  8. The only people I use snapchat with are my (former) TAs. People my age don’t really use it. I can see the value, but I can also see how it can become all consuming.

  9. This is an interesting post. I appreciate you sharing your personal experience and the struggles you faced in deleting Snapchat. I personally have had a Snapchat account for several years but hardly use it. I recently have started watching Stories including for BC and sports (MLB and the Mets). I see a lot of potential for these to be used by brands to connect with customers in a different way than other social media platforms. For example, during the World Series, Major League Baseball had a live story with highlights of the the games from the perspective of fans, whether they were at the game or watching it elsewhere. They also provided behind the scenes looks inside the clubhouses, dugouts and on the field. I have also noticed that stories are nicely edited, such as a recent one for BC, where they showed one student singing Adele’s new song Hello and then transitioned to someone else listening to the song, picking up at the point in the song where the previous clip left off. However, I am more skeptical of Snapchat’s use as a communication tool between friends. The founders claim that since the pictures disappear, it allows people to be themselves and not try to appear perfect, but I don’t know if that is actually the case. Many users are still selective about what to share with others and may not truly enjoy the moment if they are so focused on capturing it. In general, I think the key to social media platforms being less of a distraction is learning to use them properly and in moderation.

  10. This was a really good post. I liked the humor you used throughout to make it seem like a breakup. I completely agree that everywhere we go we feel the need to take a snap of it or video someone doing something funny but we never really get to appreciate the moment. I thought this post was well thought out and i liked how you were able to tie in your experience with giving up such a popular social media. Social media does control many of our lives and many of us can’t even fathom not constantly checking our social medias hourly. Great Post!

  11. Good for you for sticking with your plan to stay off Snapchat! I also liked the way you structured this post in symbolizing a breakup. I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with Snapchat in the way other people are, but I can definitely see it being difficult to be away from it now (especially on weekend nights, always my favorite time to check). I see it all the time when something entertaining is going on, people immediately whip out their phones to get it on their SnapStory. It’s like we feel a constant need to let people know we are having fun. I am definitely guilty of this sometimes as well. The FOMO part is also so true. When I have to stay in to study or whatever, it’s always the worst when I check Snapchat and it looks like all my friends are out having fun. However, I’m not sure I would last as long as you have without it!

  12. I’m very impressed with your diligence. I don’t think I’d be able to give up on snapchat. While I don’t look at stories often, I love sending direct snaps to friends when I see something that reminds me of them and they usually do the same. Having said that, I totally agree with your view on FOMO without snapchat. Just this past week I saw my friends having an great time at a bar while I had to study for my midterm 😒. Like you I’m usually one of the last people to find out information that was relayed through snapchat, but I like when I’m on top of what my friends are doing and can avoid that “did you seem my story” convo.

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