On the bright side, Psychologists have a new dimension of addiction to test and write books on. However, the obsession with social media has cast a cloud over our self-esteems and therefore our relationships.
But this is not a post about the technology take-over. This is a post about Snapchat. But it's not a post about whether or not society as a whole should buy into it. This is a post about me (hence my name on the blog) and why I choose not to have it.
Snapchat is wonderfully popular. It's quick. It's silly. It's a bit like real-life charades to maintain a real-time communication line. Some people use it for triple-chinned selfies. Others use it for work to quickly show another co-worker something they're referencing or need help with. It's become one of the giants in social media along with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc.
I do not have the app on my phone. All of my friends do. Am I an anti-social fun-killer, you ask? Nope. I enjoy communication (it's my major), I enjoy photography (it's my hobby), and I enjoy my friends (mostly).
I've chosen not to partake because of several reasons. The first two are easy:
1. The origin of Snapchat was predominantly sending suggestive images to other people. I'm not really into that kind of behavior. And if that was part of the initial purpose, I'm not sure I want to support it.
2. You can always tell who's a Snapchatter in public. Let's just say there are other levels of recognition I'm aiming for.
My final reason is the one that really convinced me not to even have it on my phone.
3. My love language is words of affirmation.
"Katie, what the heck does that even mean?"
There are five love languages. Touch, acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, and gifts. You usually have one main one and maybe a secondary (Note: the way you show love is not always the language you want to receive). My secondary is quality time. This means that when I make, send, give, do, help, offer, etc. something to/for someone, I'm desperately hoping to be appreciated for that through words. Furthermore, with quality time, I'm looking for attention - I want to see that I'm worth someone's focus.
You know how you hear about girls getting bent out of shape because a guy took an hour to respond to her text? That's not a girl thing. That's an intuitive person thing. Some of us are incredibly self-aware. We are constantly reading situations and people and experiences in order to make them better. Add that with the combination above and you get neediness, a dependency on others to find confidence, self-love, fulfillment. That's not a healthy way to live.
I'm convinced the above breakdown in a main reason social media works in the first place; not because people want to communicate with each other so much as they want others to affirm their lives, opinions, meal choice. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are all slightly removed. It's you and a big space for the rest of the world who can choose to respond or not. Snapchat is like texting: one-on-one. Only it's more intense because it involved literally showing your perspective through the lens of the camera.
I love that ability. It's why I'm a photographer. I think sharing what I see can be such an amazing experience.
However, if I'm doing so everyday of my life, when I know I will desire a person to affirm what I'm communicating to them through my silly face, cereal, or whatever photo I send in a split-second, I'm going to actually generate more emptiness in myself. Because those people are not using that app to build me up as a person. They're using it to fill themselves up or simply have fun. Neither are giving actions, but taking. My expectations will not be meant because my insecurities are rubbing against the flaws of humanity.
Now, that last fact is true during real conversations with real human beings who have know the real you for your whole life. People are selfish. That's their default mode. But by choosing not to take part in perpetual cycles that I know are designed in such a way that they will only cause me to overanalyze things about myself that were just fine to begin with, I'm choosing to be a healthier me.