TBH I’m a bit miffed that I didn’t write this post when I actually deleted Snapchat, which was nearly two months ago now. Oh well.
Since then, Instagram has introduced Stories, and loads of people are ditching Snapchat for a platform they know, love and have already built up a decent following on. But my reasons for saying ‘see ya’ to Snapchat are a little different, and remain the same, Insta Stories or not.
In fact, I haven’t even got Stories on Instagram yet; this could be something to do with the fact that lol a) I didn’t post any pics for over a month (see why here) and b) I keep swerving the latest iOS update on my iPhone. I think I’m about two behind now, oops.
Btw let’s back up a little here, ‘cos I was a supporter of the platform when it first launched in 2012. As a social media manager, I always dutifully downloaded ‘the next big app’ and SC was no different. I mainly shared private pics and fugly selfies of my elevently million chins with my IRL friends, or hungover pics after a group night out.
Other people in my circle used it as a flirting tool and ‘safe place’ to swap sexy snaps (before screen-grabbing became easy), but when the dick pics started ain’t no one CBA with that. I eventually deleted Snapchat to make room for the 9824098490549 photos on my camera roll and didn’t really miss it until late 2014, after the first paid-for brand Story appeared on the platform.
When ‘Discover’ launched in January 2015, Snapchat pinged back on my radar as a serious digital marketing tool; I started pitching it in social strategy meetings I was having at the time, as well as this social media predictions post for 2015.
However, I personally feel like we didn’t really experience peak Snapchat (in the UK at least), with brands and influencers starting to take it seriously, and snapping on the daily, until late 2015. This is about the time they added the now infamous animated selfie lenses and I remember (virtually) vomiting rainbows for days with excitement. SUCH FUN.
By this spring, I was following a fair few brands and bloggers, plus uploading my own snaps occasionally, but something just wasn’t sitting right with me, particularly once stories started playing automatically, instead of tapping into individual ones to watch.
I increasingly found Snapchat was becoming a terrible time drain. I was becoming a LURKER.
Before I knew it, I’d spent 30 minutes in every sitting, watching ‘stories’ of ‘friends’, mostly consisting of (sorryboutit) girls gazing adoringly at themselves with a licking dog overlay on their face, or slow-swaying to bad music with that fucking flower crown on their head.
Snap after snap of people ‘keeping it real’ but ironically using only the most flattering filters, and this 15 times a day, for the benefit of us, their minions. It’s all very weirdly one-sided and narcissistic – verging on the perverse – ain’t it? See also: B O R I N G. See also: #THISISWHOIAMNOW:
Then came the self-comparison.
In addition to the zillions of selfies, I’d find myself watching my peers snapping in real time, at glamorous events or on (another exotic) holiday, while I was a mess in my PJs and serious self-doubt started to set in. Like, really bad.
It wasn’t even mild jealousy, it was more: I’M UGLY AND USELESS AND NOT GOOD ENOUGH OR SUCCESSFUL ENOUGH AND WHAT EVEN IS LIFE?!
Now, I’m a grown-woman who practises mindfulness on the daily(ish), but this was really starting to get to me; bringing me down and upping my anxiety – and as all the best exercises in self-loathing tend to be, I was finding it increasingly addictive.
When an app isn’t enhancing your quality of life, and in fact is becoming incredibly damaging then you know it’s time to bin it – so that’s exactly what I did.
Going cold turkey, I’d occasionally get a small pang of FOMO if I saw bloggers tweeting about something cool they’d posted on Snapchat or had to stand to one side while my friends snapped away, but ya know what? Now I really DGAF. My life is infinitely better without it.
And the deal was most definitely sealed when Instagram launched Stories. I don’t mind admitting I internally LOLed at the trauma of those who had invested quite a lot of time in Snapchat now fretting about what to do #SMUGFACE.
If and when Instagram Stories is finally rolled out to me, I’ll be carefully considering my use of it. The fact it doesn’t have those pesky filters is certainly tempting, but for me, there’s still something sacred about not sharing the BTS of every damn thing, and just being in and enjoying the moment.
Too many people have got themselves into this panicked state of: ‘But if I don’t Snapchat, did it even happen?!’ and I honestly think that’s a big concern for the future; we’re surely going to see the fallout of all this very soon… but anyway. That’s another blog post, I guess…