I think really hard sometimes about the differences between social media outlets.* There are so many of them, and they are all so closely guarded by the social media police which are different from the selfie police, but pretty much the same as your boss and your mom, that sometimes it’s hard to tell which part of yourself is okay to express to which outlet. Instagram vs Facebook? Fairly easily distinguished, if you posted as many close-up shots of your Starbucks cup on Facebook, people would assume your About Me was a joke, your real job was a lie, and you were actually a barista at Starbucks. Either that, or that you were homeless, and using your newsfeed as a virtual change cup to prompt people to send quarters via Paypal.
Twitter is a little bit better, because you can imply something without ever supplying the physical evidence to make it plausible, earning instant internet points, which can be deposited into the internet bank, and which can be traded in for likes and comments later on. I can make a pithy, 140-character observation about a party, like… “Bitches be cray. #partyhardacus” and people will just assume I’m at a party. Not just a party, a party with some secret, Spartacus-themed motto that would be repeated in status updates for days, and which non-attendees would never really understand, but would be crazy freaking jealous. And I don’t have to back up that post with any sort of proof. It’s a magical system.
But Snapchat… Snapchat is like an adult baby monitor. Anytime you send a snap, people know immediately what you’re doing and where you are. So I can’t be like, “damn, I love Remy Martin.” just because I think it’s funny. I have to be holding a Remy Martin botte. It’s so limiting. Do you know how expensive Remy Martin is? Neither do I, because I don’t love Remy Martin, I just think it would be funny to say. Do you see what I mean?
I guess I just don’t know what to use Snapchat for. Like, I feel like, if I used it often, it would just give people too close a look at how sad my life is. Like, my friends will snapchat me awesome things like a picture of a sunny lake, “going drinking on a boat!” or a rave with a crowd of people splattered in neon paint, “afterparty is crayyyy.” And respond with a picture of my computer on top of my legs, which are covered in a blanket because it’s chilly. “Eating pepperonis!! Trying to decide between playing Minecraft on my Xbox and watching Netflix on my laptop, or watching Netflix on my Xbox and using my laptop for Tumblr. BIG DILEMMA!!”
Not only that, Snaps go away. Immediately. Forever.
You can delete a tweet, or a Facebook post, but it’s still there, burned into people’s minds. As far as anything can be burned into a mind that spends its time reading 1 sentence reports of hundreds of lives that scroll by in less than a second. Plus, there’s always the possibility that it could be like that time I was trying to search this guy’s name to see if he was cute-cute, or just only-guy-in-science-class cute, and instead of searching “Zack Morris” I typed “Zack Morris” into my status box and posted. (Yes, name changed because in the lifespan of social media, blog posts are forever and that shit was awkward.) Believe me, you don’t want to be like that time. No time should resemble that time.
But with Snaps, it’s no big deal. You send, they open, they have 10 seconds to show it to as many people in their vicinity as possible, and possibly but not sneakily screenshot it, and then it’s gone forever and that’s the end of it. You can easily brush it off later as “I was drunk,” “I sent it to everyone,” “I just wanted to see how my left nipple looked in this lighting but I accidentally sent it but haha #whatevs #yolo #socks,” or any number of other perfectly viable excuses and then move the fuck on. This makes it simple. Calming. Fine.
It is also what makes it terrifying. Because it transforms your phone into a portal through which you can gaze upon the human soul. Yeah. Stay with me. The 10 seconds of freedom that come with a self-destructing message are transcendent. Those seconds equip the user with the knowledge that anything that they send, anything, anything at all. And that kind of freedom makes people sort of… Crazy. Dickpics, barfpics, language-you-didn’t-know-existed Crazy. This is what people do with that kind of freedom. This, and hourly updates of how bored they are, with their head squished against their fist in their desk chair, eyes comically but attractively cast upwards.
It’s a weird divide.
I still haven’t decided if it’s a good one.
This is the end of this post.
By the way, you can follow me on Twitter: @Notwaverly.
You cannot follow me on Snapchat because of previous stated downsides. Also because bluuuhhhhhhh no way.
*The difference between Twitter/Snapchat and this blog is that I can say something like this sentence, then ramble on about it for a full page and nobody ever cares if this sentence is true. Which, for posterity reasons, and possibly future legal reasons, I must admit that it is not.