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November 25, 2014

Confessions of a Snapchatter

Text by Wyanet Vaz

Unlike the 3-second fleeting snap, the deadly app lands a fixed spot in the life of a tweenage chat queen

Snapchat is currently taking over my life. I had assumed that since one couldn’t save pictures, it had to be the eternal sunshine for the rotten mind. Let me confirm – first appearances are often deceptive.

My friend suggested I download the app on the pretext that if I do, he would save a baby Panda, and if I don’t he would kill one. After heavy contemplation over saving the Amazon inhabitants, and more importantly who would be the dragon warrior if we go about killing Pandas? Hence, I succumbed.

For starters, Snapchat is basically texting, but with pictures and videos that cannot exceed a 10 second limit. Famous for its self-destructing feature, which means that after your friends have viewed the image it gets completely wiped off cyberspace. Read: one does not blink. The fun bit about Snapchat is that it has a colour palette that lets you doodle over pictures, and you can add filters by swiping left. There is a concept of 3 bestfriends a.k.a the people you Snapchat the most, and it’s visible for public viewing. In addition, you also have a scoring system based on the snaps you send and those that you receive.

Frivolous as it maybe, I am as addicted to Snapchat as the other 5 million daily users. My camera has been taken over by the app, and it’s usually the first thing I would do if I spotted something cool. I have taken chatting to the next level solely with pictures and a tiny caption if need be.

For someone WhoTextedLikeThisInorderToMakeUseOfAllThe140Characters during the dark ages, it is surprising to note how I have managed to survive (and still love the app) even with the all-time-low 31 character limit.

Although Snapchat has its own messenger service, it follows the same self-destruct rule. Quite pointless, since you will barely recollect the conversation thread. Like Whatsapp’s recent double blue ticks, Snapchat has icons that notify you if your picture message has been viewed.

According to research it takes 0.1% of our braincells to take a Snapchat, which is why the days of sending messages with real words and thoughts are gone, and are being replaced by videos of you rapping to Soulja Boy, and pictures of dogs with crowns drawn on them.

And, if you thought you were the cat’s whiskers by cleverly screengrabbing a picture, Snapchat gives the sender a quick notification. It can be awkward if you screenshot someone’s “Whaddup” Selfie…for a text might just turn up with a cold “why screenshot?” inquiry. Yes, Little_missed_sunshine learned it the hard way.

Another feature that keeps me occupied is My Story. On a recent vacation to Goa, I confess to have Snapchatted like there’s no tomorrow. The app gives you the ability to create a movie of your own using all the snaps and videos you’ve taken throughout the day. Taking advantage of this activity, it was only my Snapchat friends who knew about my roadtrips and the fact that I spotted a star fish.

Trying to sound as modest as possible, I think I’m completely nailing this app. Hence, when someone screengrabs my picture, the heart does a little somersault. The fact that I turn up on the bestfriend list of 10 random people, gives my life a certain form of validation.

I have consciously dedicated myself to this app by going to the extent of googling Snapchat hacks, and investing hours on the internet figuring how to increase my score. Of my many clever snaps, this one is my favourite – an image of the pot with a P.S that read “I don’t give a $#!+.”

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