By Megan Valente
I once told someone that I considered Snapchat to be like an online video journal that not only documented the events that constructed my day, but also as a tool of reflection. She then scoffed and told me that was the stupidest thing that she had ever heard. If I’m being honest, I was deeply offended by it, until probably about…last week.
Snapchat has become so integrated into our daily lives that it is no longer surprising to see dog filters and flower crowns littered across our social media on a daily basis. I hear, “Hold on, I need to snap this” at least three to four times a day, and listen to my friends complain that they have to watch so many snapchat stories to clear their notifications. But what if I told you that you were living in a filter clad, destructive world and that the girl above was not entirely wrong?
Social media is a wonderful tool for networking, self-expression and commemorating occasions. However, it has also become a liaison for oversharing and, for lack of a better word, a distraction.
“But how could my Snapchat be distracting me? I get to talk to my friends more and like to take fun pictures of our adventures together. Distraction, pft.”
Put down your pitchforks and trust me – I get it. I too snap quick pics with my friends and like to share the fun things I do, but it has gotten to the point where this app has the ability to hinder life. It can be good for long distance friends but the constant contact with people through your phone can limit things such as, oh I don’t know, real face to face interactions. Actual face, not a face-swapped face.
And even when you do actually venture outside into the world – the world lit by sunlight, not the glowing screen of Netflix – your “coffee date with bae” suddenly turns into a phone fest.
I notice this most at college parties. I think I see more of the blinding lights of other people’s phones from Snapchatting the occasion than actually socializing and having fun.
“Was Carla at the party last night?”
“I didn’t see her, but I think I saw her phone case!”
Anyone can wave a phone around, and then go back to the corner of the room to post and make sure the guy/girl they like saw it, but not everyone can actually have a good time.
So yes, the girl mentioned before was pretty harsh about how stupid my idealization of Snapchat was, but maybe she wasn’t entirely wrong. Spend a week using your actual eyes and not your phone screen to live events. You might even save some battery.
Megan Valente is a lifestyle blogger and barista and is currently attending Montclair State University. Follow her on Twitter at @TheDayILived.