Snapchat. The social media site most love to hate and hate to love. This instant form of sharing photos is used more and more frequently as time goes on as the app changes and develops. When Snapchat was first produced in 2011, it was known as the social media platform one could be a part of in order to send a photo that would disappear in seconds and never be seen again. Studies have shown that Snapchat gives people more enjoyable, positive interactions than other social networking sites (1). Despite this fact, my parents would always ask me, “What is the point of Snapchat if the photo disappears?” as I took an ugly selfie and sent it off to my friends. I would tell them it was just a fun way to send pictures and messages to friends, and that it was not meant for serious photos that I wanted to last. However, this has changed. Even my parents now appreciate the fun, easy communication that Snapchat provides. In a study done on the effects of Snapchat on interpersonal relationships in young adults, researchers discovered that the social media platform allows for “…more congruent communication within young adult interpersonal relationships” (2). Snapchat encourages casual, easy conversations which tend to be a commonly liked communication technique. It also encourages a preservation of the small moments– no photo is too insignificant to post on Snapchat.
Snapchat photos last longer than a “snap” now, making the name slightly not representative of its true characteristics. Snapchat now allows users to take screenshots of the photos that they receive. Users can also make “stories” of their photos which are posted for 24 hours for friends to see. The app even allows users to save “memories” and store the photos they take forever in a camera roll. Snapchat has evolved into a photo log, news source, travel diary, and even more. It gives users the ability to capture the small moments that show true personality, values, and interests, unlike other social media networks in which people often work toward creating an image for themselves.
I highly enjoy Snapchat because of its quick form of “face-to-face” communication and that it allows me to share where I am with family and friends easily. During my time abroad, I send many snapchats to my friends and family to update them on where I am traveling and what I am doing there. I have saved many of my snapchat photos and stories in order to keep a log of the sights I see during my travels and in Barcelona. Here are some examples of the photos I took on Snapchat that have turned into permanent photos on my phone:
I have saved these photos, along with many others. They provide me with a travel log of the small moments I have abroad– the ones I will most easily forget but will most want to remember.
- BAYER, Joseph B., et al. Sharing the small moments: ephemeral social interaction on Snapchat. Information, Communication & Society, 2016, vol. 19, no 7, p. 956-977.
- VATERLAUS, J. Mitchell, et al. “Snapchat is more personal”: An exploratory study on Snapchat behaviors and young adult interpersonal relationships. Computers in Human Behavior, 2016, vol. 62, p. 594-601.