By TYLER DALE
Social media has become a defining aspect of our generation. Never before has it been easier for people to share their lives with all of their friends. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have brought people closer in spite of the physical distance between them. One of the most recent additions to this group is Snapchat. The mobile app, which allows friends to send photos and videos for a brief time, has skyrocketed in popularity, and gives people another medium through which they can communicate with their friends. As simple as it is innovative, it has become the most convenient way to share pictures and videos with others. However, like every social media, people can take it too far, causing the program to become a nuisance. Hope is not lost, though. There are a few simple principles that people can follow to avoid making everyone on their friends list hate them.
The main premise of Snapchat is that any picture or video you send another person will disappear forever in ten seconds or less. This is convenient for people who want to send and receive photos without the hassle of picture messaging, or worrying about filling up their inboxes. However, this has caused some people to forget where the line is. While it’s hilarious to update your Facebook or Twitter describing your bathroom habits, most people don’t want to see a picture of your feces or a video of you on the toilet. Also, disgusting injuries are not attractive. Of course, you may have close friends who think it’s funny. And if so, it’s totally okay to show them your poop. But not everyone on your friends list is comfortable with that. So take the time to think before you snap. Because even though the picture itself is fleeting, the negative impression it leaves will last forever.
The most important thing to keep in mind while Snapchatting (which translates to every other social media outlet as well) is this: your life is not as interesting as you think it is. The harsh truth is, most people don’t care that you’re spending your Saturday night watching “Pitch Perfect,” and they definitely don’t want to get a thousand videos of you singing along to it in the wrong key. And if you insist on sending them a picture every five minutes of you drinking a beer and giving the camera a thumbs-up, they are literally going to despise you. So before you send everyone on your friends list something that they might consider boring, consider whether or not you would be interested in staring at twenty different pictures of a cat wearing a sombrero (okay, that might be a bad example, because it actually sounds entertaining, but you get the point).
So before you pull out your phone to take a picture of yourself eating a really awesome cheeseburger, leave your ego behind and keep in mind that lots of people have eaten really good cheeseburgers, and that there is absolutely no reason that they should regard your photo with anything more than ambivalence. The sooner people learn to accept this, the sooner your friends will stop hating you.
Snapchat is a wonderful thing when used correctly, and it can be a superb way to let your friends know what you’re up to. And as long as you keep it tasteful and interesting, you’ll still have friends who you can notify about these things. As with everything good in life, exercise moderation and you’ll save yourself a great deal of fuss.