Mundane, Fleeting, Fun

Mundane, Fleeting, Fun

Occasionally, I have reason to suspect that at the grand age of 22 I might already be “over the hill.” This realisation came several weeks ago when I found myself asking, irritably, “what is this Snapchat thing and should I be on it?” I had heard that teenagers were using it to sext each other. As it happens, they are. But the PG-rated version is fun too – turns out it’s entertainingly novel to snap a quick “slice of life” and send it in a self-destructing message.

What is this Snapchat thing?

Snapchat is an app that allows you to send self-destructing pictures or videos to friends. Snap a picture, doodle on top of it MS Paint-style, then send it to your friends. They can view it until their time runs out and the picture is deleted. Seems fun, in a silly sort of way. Because humans are humans – and are endlessly fascinated by genitals – many people use Snapchat to send dick pics, cleavage shots, sexy pouty faces, and so on, to their “friends.”

Who uses it?

Teenagers. ZOMG – teenagers love Snapchat. Raging hormones; fun, newly developed body parts to photograph; silly drawings ... teenagers are all over that jazz. Other than that, there exists the usual muddle of bored people who exist all over the web: 20- and 30-somethings who Snap their craft beers and concert tickets – nothing too exciting.

In a way, it’s the mundaneness of it all that makes it fun. After all, Instagram is choked with boring images, and we can’t seem to get enough of it. The instant and fleeting nature of Snapchat makes it a little more exciting because the pressure is off – the picture doesn’t need to be artistic, or profound. It’s only going to exist for a few seconds before it’s forgotten.

Aside from combing your phone’s contacts, Snapchat does not include a directory or way to find people to Snapchat. To add a Snapchatter, you need their username. The Twitter hashtag #snapchatusername and the Reddit site r/Snapchat exist to help people find each other.

Should I be on it?

That depends. Do you like:
- Doodling, MS Paint-style?
- Sending naughty pictures to friends?
- Taking selfies (but too embarrassed to put them on other social media sites)?

If yes, sign up and give it a go.

Personally I’m past the stage in my life where sending tit-pics to boys is the height of my sexual “badassery.” The most fun I get from Snapchat is sending #prettygirlsuglyfaces photos. Take a picture of yourself pulling the ugliest face you possibly can – the more chins the better. Send it to your friends. Wait for their horrified reaction. Rinse and repeat.

The Analogue Hole

Since the digital age dawned, the Analogue Hole has been right there in its footsteps, undermining it. Remember sitting by the radio as a kid, ready to tape your favourite song and getting annoyed when the DJ spoke over the beginning of Outkast’s Ms Jackson?

The same thing can happen with Snapchats. Nimble-fingered friends, if they’re quick enough, can take a screenshot of your snap and use it as they please. If they’re a little more enterprising, a quick Google search and a little tech knowledge will allow your friends to retrieve the “self-destructing” pictures.

Remember kids: for complete security, keep your naughty bits to your naughty self.
This article first appeared in Issue 16, 2013.
Posted 3:59pm Sunday 21st July 2013 by Raquel Moss.