The Life of Bon: Snapchat: The Purest Form of Social Media?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Snapchat: The Purest Form of Social Media?

I've been meaning (and promising to you all) to write this post for awhile.  This afternoon, while my sick husband and baby sleep and the house is quiet, I shall finally and everlastingly declare to you my love for snapchat.

I feel like I was relatively late to hop on to the snapchat band wagon. (Username @thelifeofbon) This is because social media overwhelms me.  Sometimes my blog overwhelms me.  (Sorry guys).  Sometimes (a lot of times) I'm mad at whatever social media gods made all these dumb rules for social media that we all are supposed to follow or else no one will like us.   That's why I didn't want to get snapchat.  I felt like I was already up to my ears in instagram promotions, facebook posts, amazingly funny twitter one-liners- I just couldn't handle any more of that cray social media pressure.

A couple of friends (like Aubrey) kept telling me that I would really enjoy using snapchat- that it was a lot more fun than other social media.  In November there was a religious announcement that greatly affected people in the state where I live and facebook became an ugly, negative space in reaction to that.  I understand people are free to post whatever they want, but I felt myself being so dragged down every time I opened facebook.

So I took a facebook break and turned to snapchat instead.  I followed only a few people who I know.  I didn't post anything.  Instead I just watched my friends.  I watched their little videos, their funny pictures.  I liked it.  It felt light and fun, the way I have always envisioned social media to be.  I was happy looking at videos of gurgling babies.  I liked hearing my friends say nonsense, not worried about how they looked or how many people were going to like their ramblings.  I really liked it when my friends made ugly faces and did weird voices and made themselves look like fools.  Hey!  People like me!

SO... I started doing my own snaps.  It took me a few weeks to get the hang of it and then it took me a few months to realize I was still on private settings (thanks Tara!) but now I feel like I can truly embrace snapchat in all its glory.

What is so great about snapchat you ask?  I shall tell you!


1.  No one acts like they are smarter than you all the time.  We all do this on facebook, even if we do it unknowingly.  I feel like there is such a strong implication of "this is how I feel and everyone who feels differently is an idiot" on facebook.  It starts to wear on you, you know.  On snapchat there is this common understanding that we are all idiots.  It's great!

2.  No political nonsense.  Yes, we are all super screwed if Trump wins the election!  But I am soooooooo tired of hearing about it.  And we've still got nine months to go.  I haven't ever loved talking politics.  I think it's important to be aware of the issues and advocate change on the issues that are important to you... but facebook is just not the way to do it imho.  It becomes a hotbed for political standoffs and no one ever wins.  I have read so many negative threads and horrible things being said about each other because people don't see eye to eye.  I just can't handle the negativity of facebook anymore.  Guess what, though?  I've been on snapchat for months and haven't listened to one political rant.  No one has tried to tell me who to vote for.  No one has told me how stupid the other candidates that they don't support are.  It's a snapchat miracle!

3.  No religious mumbo jumbo.  I think you all know I'm Mormon and I live in a Mormon state.  But there are also a lot of people in this state who aren't Mormon, used to be Mormon, hate Mormons, etc.  Lately the LDS church (aka Mormons) has made some decisions that not everyone agrees with.  Watching my facebook feed blow up over this and seeing so many hurtful things coming from both sides made me want to leave facebook and never return.  It just becomes this black hole of negativity that you can never escape.  Snapchat is filled with funny short videos and moms kissing their babies and people showing off all the donuts they have eaten that night.  What a wonderful place to be!

4.  No constant articles clogging up my feed.  I love me an interesting article to read on the internet.  Heck, I post my own blog posts to facebook all the time  (this may have been how you found my post today). But I am the first to admit that all the posts on articles on my feed get tiresome.  I feel like it's all anyone posts.  It's like facebook is just this place where we post an article that said something we like and that's it.  I want to know about people's lives and families and the funny thing the grocer said to them today.  NOT 12 ways to start your morning productively.  Snachat contains no articles!  Ever!  If I want to read an article, I must search it our on facebook but snapchat stays pure to its roots.

5.  No drama!  I have been listening to "So You've Been Publicly Shamed" while I drive to my work and it has been really interesting to hear studies of the effects of social media.  One quote that stuck with me, "With social media we've created a stage for constant artificial high drama."  AMEN!  Doesn't it feel like everyone is always upset on social media?


1.  No Likes!  This one might be my favorite.  I get so stressed about how many people like my instagram pictures.  And I get nervous about how many people are following me, and am I keeping up with my blogging friends and AM I COOL ENOUGH DOES ANYONE LIKE ME!?!?!?!  This is what instagram feels like all the time to me.  It is just terrible to be me on instagram I promise you.  The instagram-like anxiety is real.  On snapchat there are no likes.  You can see who has viewed your pictures or videos, but that's it.  There are also no comments.  You just put your stuff out into space and if someone doesn't like it or doesn't like you, you are none the wiser. Ignorance is truly bliss!

2.  You don't have to take pretty pictures on snapchat.  I am not very creative with pictures.  I have always thought it was the worst part of having a blog.  My pictures never look pretty.  I can recognize an amazing instagram picture when I see one, but I just suck at recreating them.  And then when I try I just feel like a dumb sheep follower who everyone will know is trying too hard.  White backgrounds, pops of color, perfect brick wall.  I SUCK AT IT!  Even now I am stressing about what pictures I am going to add to this blog post because I know you all want a picture.  Snapchat pictures don't have to be pretty!  In fact, they rarely are!  Most of the time they are quite ugly, but almost always funny.

3.  No staged photos.  Similar to point #2-  snapchat just feels so much more authentic than instagram because nothing is staged.  You're looking at your ugly feet in the super market- POST IT!  No one cares.  You post that crap on instagram and everyone will hate you forever.  (Not really.)  (But really).  Snapchat pictures have to be taken within the snapchat app and then they have to be posted right away so there is no editing, no staging, no making your life look 100 xs better than it is.  IT IS A DREAM COME TRUE!

4.  No sales!  I am not saying I hate facebook and instagram because of sales.  I run a large part of my promotions and marketing for our jewelry shop through instagram.  I'm very grateful for instagram because of this.  BUT.  It does feel nice to come to a social media space where you know you won't be bombarded with ads or sales or buy this or buy that.  It feels so pure and unpolluted.  Snapchat hasn't monetized yet (although I am guessing that will happen fairly soon) so it just feels like you're hanging with your friends.  Like someone actually respects me, you know?

5.  Snapchat is not user friendly.  At all.  In fact, it's actually kind of hard to figure out what is going on.  And there's a bunch of secret stuff that you can do but isn't obvious at all.  Reminds me of all the secrets on Mario- extra lives, secret levels, etc.  Only the die hards can understand!   I like this because it doesn't feel like snapchat is going to get overtaken by my bishop's wife or my great aunt, you know?  It's nice to have a social media outlet that sticks to people of your same age/ cohort.  You feel me?  I don't have to worry that my boss will finally realize how ridiculous I actually am.  And if you do post something totally self incriminating, it is gone in 24 hours!  Nothing is permanent on snapchat!

If you have decided to join in on the snapchat awesomeness, you can find me on snapchat @thelifeofbon.  Greg is also on snapchat @greghlarsen.  He mostly makes videos about dolls pretending to murder him.  My husband, ladies and gentleman.

That's a wrap from the Larsen clan.  Peace!

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