When I was first introduced to snap chat years ago, I didn’t think much of the app. I wasn’t crazy about having to take pictures of what I was doing in order to keep up a conversation with someone. At first, not many people seemed to use it anyways. All of a sudden though, I went from not using it very often to having the majority of my conversations on the app, (which is probably not normal). At any party I went to, or any new friends that I met, it seemed more mainstream to swap snap codes than it was cell phone numbers. There was a point in time where any of my friends could tell you I was genuinely obsessed with the app, as ridiculous as it might sound. Whether it was a picture for a conversation or for my 24-hour story, I was always snapping something. Initially, it was pretty painful to delete the app. The few hours of withdrawal (yes, withdrawal) were certainly worth it, though. After almost three weeks, I have no regrets.
Here’s what happened:
1. My phone’s battery started lasting more than one hour at a time.
…When I had Snapchat, all I had to do was the open the app for my phone to go from fully charged to 12%. I don’t even have to worry about carrying a charger with me anymore.
2. My morning routine got faster... literally.
…If this doesn’t prove how obsessed I was with the app, I don’t know what will. Without the desire to get the perfect snap chat of my “ootd” or my almond milk latte every morning, I saved myself at least 15 minutes of time… and my lattes aren’t cold by the time I actually start drinking them now.
3. I have no idea what my friends are doing every second of the day.
…This one is a little bittersweet. My friends and I had this thing where we would literally just snap chat what we were doing all day. If I were eating a meal, I’d snap it. Saw a dog? I’d snap it. Walked to class? Snapped it. I could probably have memorized their schedules just from expecting their “walking to class” or “lunch time” snaps. I definitely feel more distanced from them without it, especially if they go to a different college, but it forces us to text or call more often – and have more meaningful conversations.
4. I realized how pointless a “streak” was.
...When I had snap chat, my streaks were a priority. My highest one was close to 200, and I was reluctant to break that. Looking back though, I realized how many of my streaks were actually just one picture sent back and forth each day to keep it going. Why did I ever prioritize that?
5. I became present.
...If you think experiencing something through a camera lens is the same as experiencing it with your own eyes, you’re wrong. Sure, it’s nice to have memories and capture pictures on your phone… but you have a camera app for that. Not having to worry about getting the perfect picture or video of someone for my story is actually a relief. The time I spend with people is more genuine now that I don’t feel obligated to show my Snapchat friends who I’m with or where I am at the moment.
6. I became less interested in other social media, too.
...I didn’t expect this to happen, but having one less app and fewer notifications popping up on my screen all day has made me less inclined to check my phone at all. I still have other apps: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, you name it. But I’m less dependent on using them for entertainment, and have been occupying my time with more productive things.
This isn’t to say I’m against all social media. I believe it has numerous benefits, and I’ll admit that I probably will never be able to go completely social media-free. I also don’t, by any means, intend to bash Snapchat or the app they’ve created. As I said before, I was literally obsessed. I still think the concept of the app is pretty cool, too, but when it became a time-consuming priority for me, I realized it had to go… and I’m happy it did.