snapchat users

Constant Snapchatter: Are You Really Having Fun?

You’re at a local bar with your group of friends singing along to a classic 90s song. Your food comes at a restaurant and it looks delicious. Your pet does something funny. Why wouldn’t you display these things to show the world? Okay, maybe not the world, maybe just your list of Snapchat friends.

Don’t lie, we’ve all done it. I know I definitely have. If you add me on Snapchat, you will see a wide variety of my cat, the food I eat, something that I’m watching on TV, me being sarcastic about things like traffic, homework, getting ready, life in general, and the occasional shot of me, in fact, singing to a great 90s classic at the bar. And sometimes, lets face it, I get a little over excited about my night out (…okay, I’ll be honest, it’s more likely to be of my cat and food) and post a ton of Snapchats for my friends to see.

Now, when I really think about it, I’m almost positive most of them don’t care to see what I’m doing. If they do, I’m flattered and I’m glad to see that they are keeping tabs on me and my life. But, as their names pop up under my story, I can’t say that all of them are actually watching. And I don’t blame them. I’ll admit if someone is a frequent poster (especially in the same night, we get it! You’re at a party and I’m in bed!) then I’ll just hold my finger down and let the video play fast enough for me not to able to watch it. Sorry, friends, just being honest here.

The real question that arises here isn’t what sandwich I’m eating today or if my cat is trying to bite me. It’s more like, why do we feel the need to post 10 second stories of our lives anyway? We already have Instagram for pictures. We already have Twitter for words. Does anyone really care if you’re eating sushi or petting a dog or getting ready with your friends? Does anyone really care that you’re taking a walk or laying with your significant other or driving your car listening to music? And in saying that, if you are posting 10 second pictures or videos every 10 seconds to showcase your exciting life, are you really having a good time or are you just showing off?

Rebecca Zidik, a senior communication student, said, “In my opinion, if you have to Snap every five seconds then you’re not having fun. We’re all guilty of wanting to show off where we are but sending a couple snaps of really funny or interesting moments is all that really needs to be done. You want to be able to enjoy the time you’re having, not just obsessing over social media.”

Samantha Bastone, a junior music industry student, agreed. “I think people are just showing off 99.9% of the time. Because most of the time, if you’re really having a good time, you won’t be fixated on your phone and rather be enjoying the moment.”

Like I said, I’m definitely guilty of this. If I’m doing something extra exciting (or eating a really great slice of pizza) I’ll throw a few Snapchats up on the same day. I might take a selfie with a friend and then take a video of us dancing. BUT I have made a vow to myself, and that is never to post 100 second Snapchat story, no matter what I’m doing. If you post 100 second Snapchat stories, I’m sorry, but you better be doing something amazing. 

That doesn’t mean sitting in a room with your friends, telling stories that no one but you guys understand. That means skydiving out of airplanes, snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, or interviewing a celebrity. Nope, not seeing a celebrity on the street or at a club. Interviewing them, face to face, and then a picture together afterwards. Might as well make it 105 seconds while you’re at it.

Michelle Brady, a senior communication student, said, “I think you’re really having a good time but you’re more interested in letting other people know that you’re having fun.”

Mary Harris, a specialist professor of communication, said, “I think the bigger issue is that people are no longer living life for themselves…they’re putting on a facade. People can become addicted [to social media] and constantly need the positive reinforcement and feedback.”

Harris also explained that this addiction to social media can affect peoples physiological perspective and memory, because they are so focused on what’s going through the camera lense instead of what’s actually going on around them.

Perhaps your friends really do want to see every bite of your dinner, or every song you dance too at a bar. If so, I’m honestly happy for you, you have great friends and you should feel special that they want to know what you are doing constantly. As for me though, I don’t have to ask my friends to know that they aren’t exactly thrilled to see me post something. 

And hey, to be honest, I’m not even sure I care too much about adding Snapchat stories. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop. So keep the Snapchat stories coming, maybe one day I’ll actually see someone skydiving or doing something crazy. Until then, I’ll click through the food and the pets and the cars and the selfies.