Snapchat. A form of social media in which users allow the world to view pictures or videos for up to fifteen seconds at a time and then –poof- it’s gone, stored in one’s memory (unless you take a screenshot of course).
Ever since the widely used application first released in 2011, teenagers and young people alike have been addicted as it gives them the need to share every crazy, quick paced moment of their life with the world and if that wasn’t enough for you, you can view it for an unlimited number of times for 24 hours.
Snapchat may have its perks but it also quite regrettably, has its disadvantages and there are certain types of people who will just quite manage to irk you…
1. The “Night Out Maestro”
If you’re not having a good night out then fear not, this person will show you just what exactly you’re missing out on– in the form of a 200 second snap which is basically a (usually quite drunken) video montage of them showing you the exhilarating albeit messy process of ‘avin a good night out’ to put it accurately. About ninety nine percent of the time the snap story starts from the onset of the ‘pre drinks’ in which the person’s objective is to endorse alcohol as much as they can. Jack Daniels, Wine, Whisky, Disaranno…the list is endless. Then come the actual club photos and gosh, what a sight. First of all it’s a selfie competition made up of girls frantically stabbing themselves with their six inch heels in order to appear the tallest and a savage, bloodthirsty fight to the death in order to obtain the best lighting. It becomes evident when the alcohol has kicked in when blurry ten second videos where a phone appears to randomly jab up and down in every direction of the whole ‘squad’ dancing emerge. We get it, you’re on a ‘wild night out’ and feel the need to share your every second with the world just in case they aren’t having a ‘wild night out’ instead. For heaven’s sake, why do you think professional photographers trawl these clubs to willingly take pictures? It’s so you’re not glued to your phone all night.
2. The “I Must Document Every Second Of My Life And You’ll Endure It” Expert
Have they uploaded a snapstory today? Is the Pope Catholic? Yes and yes. They will upload absolutely every meticulous detail of their life which (after 100 seconds precisely) will make you want to tear every bit of your hair out. Oh its 9 AM, time for a breakfast bagel to show the world what I like to eat in the mornings. Then a quick selfie with the appropriate caption i.e. ‘Going to Grandma’s” just in case they didn’t know you were going to visit her that specific day. Following that a precisely, constructed picture of an assortment of textbooks to show that 4 PM is revision ‘o’ clock. Add in another selfie for good measure as you wouldn’t want your audience forgetting you exist. Lastly a few shots of your evening meal and then some again of your revision notes just in case everyone forgot that you were planning on hitting the books that day. What Snapchat is to them, oxygen is to us.
3. The “Wannabe Model”
This type of character loves selfies. Like loooooves them. They won’t let you forget it either. Sultry pose? Check. Immaculate, (usually heavily contoured) skin? Check? Beauty enhancing filter that somehow manages to wipe out their every flaw and cause you to view them in the perfect light (pun intended)? Check. You have yourself the Selfie Master. They will take on any opportunity to flaunt their perfect face and will do so multiple times as they hold on to the belief that the World and its Children has the inescapable desire to see them whether it be five times a day or fifty. Optional irrelevant captions such as “The weather is lovely” completing a photo of their new bouffant hair style is also an additional detail.
4. The “Emotional Wreck”.
Accompanied by a ‘black screen of death’, one’s snapchat is heavily detailed with a few select emojis (namely the grimacing one) and a hyperbolic statement with the tone of a passive aggressive thirteen year old whose parents said no to them buying yet another video game console. Usually – but not always – is conveyed by a bitter ex-girlfriend with an ambiguous statement that goes something like “So done with boys”. A dramatic statement is key and if it doesn’t sound like the emotional workings of a toddler having a tantrum then you’re not doing it right
5. The “Filterographer”
Filters are their Kryptonite. On Wednesdays they wear pink. That is, the pink cheeked, cherub headed filter that appears to ‘angelify’ into a vision of cuteness. Another day, another feature put to good use. A spot of sepia tint to appear melodramatic. Perhaps an embodiment of a puppy to show off your paws. Or an uninspiring face swap guaranteed to make people laugh. That is, after they forget about the first two hundred face swaps you took last week in your snapchat induced high as you discovered a new filter you could get your hands on. By the time it gets to the end of the week you’re sick of seeing the constant assemblage of multi-coloured facial features and random tears springing down a face. Suddenly old fashioned Polaroid photos don’t seem such a bad idea after all; at least they’re not a constant eyesore to look at.
6. The “Sky Muse”
Looking out of your window to check the weather is so last century. Why not just check your snapchat instead? Eleven times out of ten you’ll see a generic image of the sky on your feed and eleven times out of ten it’s usually taken by those that put “Aspiring photographer” in their Twitter bio. Bonus points if it is a sunset. Triple points if it manages to capture the sky in an assortment of breath taking colours that somehow the amateur photographer cannot do justice to. It only counts if it’s longer than ten seconds because you never know when the last time we see a sunset will be.
7. The “Political Platform”
This type of person has opinions. Big ones. They need to share them with the world. Immediately. There’s no better option (or platform) than snapchat; you’ll be so immersed in what they have to say that you will be frantically jabbing at your phone to skip forward to their next snap as they continue debating about how racism is still prevalent in our society or why McDonalds’ fries are better than Burger Kings (they’re crispy and crispy fries always win). Opinions will usually range on the completely idiotic to the painstakingly controversial side of things and you are forced to endure it.
8. The “Match.Com” Promoter
This snap chatter follows the same format as the “Night Out” Maestro but instead of viewing their uninspiring adventures at a night club you are forced to endure them on their date night with their partners, respectably. Be it overwhelmingly sickening selfies with their significant other with optional captions like “2 weeks with the love of my life” or mind numbingly boring videos of a couple going about their daily routine, this particular person will not stop in the non-existent race to show the world that their relationship is front page news. They want to remind the world that yes, love exists and they are in love of course and they want to show you the dynamics behind a successful relationship. There’s nothing wrong with that at all but unfortunately, showing us your ‘behind the scenes’ footage makes us want to throw up a little in our mouth.
(originally published in Rebel Magazine 2016)