by Anne Isman
After another aimless scroll through Snapchat, landing on a story with a slew of unfamiliar faces in it, I realized how boring it was. Maybe one image was funny or relevant to me, but given how much content people upload to their Snapchat, viewing an interesting story was a rarity. Even my own posts were irrelevant to anyone outside of my sphere of friends, if interesting to anyone except myself. Snapchat, which is used daily by 187 million people, is essentially a dumping ground for posts not good enough for Instagram, and with that, followers are privy to the mundane and “unfiltered” moments of their friends’ lives.
I first downloaded Snapchat two years ago to stay in touch with friends abroad. By simply watching their stories every so often, I was supposedly “keeping in touch” the way Snapchat enabled me to do: watching people’s lives but not actually communicating with them. Exchanging usernames was our way of remaining connected without putting in any effort to remain friends, which created more distance.
Besides the disconnect, the abundance of the amount of content I looked through daily on the app overwhelmed me, especially since many of those I follow are not necessarily close friends. As a result, I was essentially watching the lives of people I didn’t really know, which felt invasive. Unfortunately, Snapchat makes it obvious when there are stories yet to be viewed, and I obsessively watched the available stories to clear the top of my feed, so only messages from close friends remained. I was using Snapchat as a replacement for regular text messaging, a testament to how unnecessary this app’s functions truly are.
To emphasize, nearly every time I opened the app, I found myself looking at someone’s lunch or a photo of a street with a decorative geotag or time stamp on it. Although I continued to watch these stories, upon every viewing I asked myself why I bothered opening the app in the first place. It was as though the more I watched people’s Snapchat stories, the less I cared about what I was watching–and why should I? The stories disappear in 24 hours anyway.
Eventually, I decided I was going to just get rid of the app, as I was exhausted by giving my time to something that didn’t really provide me with much in return. Even Snapchat’s news stories, which I usually scrolled through, could have been read elsewhere. The moment I removed the app from my phone, I was no longer haunted by the blinding yellow square and the ghost suspended inside of it.
After removing Snapchat, my friends asked me what I would do with all my extra free time, or how I would see what people were doing. Although I’ve only been without the app for a week, I have no longer had to feel the intense boredom that came with scrolling through story after story in which the geotag was more interesting than the photo. What I’ve realized by not having Snapchat is that I’m not interested in watching the dull and routine moments of someone else’s everyday life, and I can’t understand why anyone would want to see those moments in my life either.
That said, do yourself a favor and get rid of Snapchat.