What Losing A Snap Streak Has Taught Me About The Loss Of My Best Friend

What Losing A Snap Streak Has Taught Me About The Loss Of My Best Friend

I woke up to a missing streak icon next to her name. It must be a mistake, I thought. There's no way.

On April 4, 2017, at 11:37 p.m. EST, my best friend and I lost our 15 day snapstreak.

My best friend and I first met at 11 and 12 year old respectively, and I knew I never wanted to cross paths with her again after we had an awkward, embarrassing in the kind of I-want-to-melt-into-the-floor-right-now moment with ramen noodles. Unfortunately, my mom had other plans. Despite the fact we live over 30 minutes away, only see each other once every couple of months and naturally became best friends over time because I became close with her older sister first, Nabila and I fostered a bond through years of Starbucks frappes, puberty pains and gains, bittersweet memories and inside desi jokes at parties.

Just to be clear, Nabila and I are not exclusively best friends. I don't mope around when we miss our scheduled meet up on campus in between college classes, but I do scour the interwebs and at least six different department stores on a biyearly basis, mulling over which brand name handbag and pair of sunglasses to gift her with on her wedding day. Sometimes I feel like we skipped over the line of friendship entirely and just bowled our way into the best non-related cousin-you-barely-see-but-love-to-bits-and-pieces lane. We don't even share the same hobbies for the most part, yet this is exactly why it works.

No matter what the other is currently obsessed with or wants to do, we will always give in to each other, supportively (and a little bit judgmentally) coming along for the ride. I can whine and complain all I want about how much a certain film sucks or why I don't want to try baking my undereyes, but at the end of the day, I'll still be nestled in her fuzzy throw blanket at 1 a.m. on a Saturday night sleepover, watching said movie while getting my undereyes baked (which yes, did make me look like a ghost, but it also did work so fine, I admit it, you were right). We may appear and function like a noncommittal best friendship, but we're always there for each other during the ups and downs, creating the moments we have together instead of letting fate, destiny, chance or whatever play it out.

That's why when we managed to hold a five day snapstreak last year, I was surprisingly pleased by our unexpected accomplishment. But I didn't think much of it — not even when we managed a 10 day snapstreak during the last few months of 2016, because Nabila and I, we've just never dedicated ourselves to each other like that. Things changed when she went on vacation to her motherland for a couple of weeks. Maybe it was the total time change or maybe it was the freedom she had with her time, but somehow, we maintained a strong 15 day streak — one I had begun to invest my time, effort and hope in for perhaps a 30 day goal at least.

Every snap was a thought she had in the moment — a new snack she was addicted to, angled pics of the netting around the bedspread, stores she visited, people she coerced into taking selfies with her and 2:30 a.m. EST snap of "I miss you, too," [crying emjoi]. Around day 10, we noticed the streak and sent mutual "Snap streak ayyy" snaps to one another. I halved my response time, sending pics of my carpeting as background and typing short hashtag texts about the latest political events going on at home. She sent back snaps of her horrified expression, declaring she was going to move to Canada for good. I sent a thumbs up, "good plan," and shot her a snap of the percentage of taxes American citizens relocating to Canada must pay. That's put a hold on our Canada plan... for now.

Then after day 15, I woke up to a missing streak icon next to her name. It must be a mistake, I thought. There's no way. I had responded twice yesterday, during the day and night in case Snapchat updated our snap records differently based on the conflicting time zones. Had she responded? Maybe she opened it and forgot to respond. My Snapchat didn't work properly after that. I received snaps, but couldn't open them despite cleaning my junk files and deleting 23 photos. The stories wouldn't even show anymore, and a weekend trip to the lake never made it on my Snapchat story despite my x-finity Wi-Fi, data use and reuploads. It was no use, I couldn't get in touch with her. I could text her, but it just wouldn't be the same. So I waited. I waited for my phone to go back to normal, for us to brush off this loss and have another go at maintaining a snapstreak.

But after three days of on-and-off snap activity, I deleted the app.

The following hours felt like a dream, standing in the shower with rainy mood on a 10 hour loop on my phone, the scent of rain-scented candles mixing with the spray of hot water fogging up the mirror, perspiration sliding down the tiles, tears leaking from the corners of my eyes. Thoughts swirled around in my head and drained into the pit of my stomach. Did she snap anyone else that day? Was that you-share-a-best-friend emoji there all that time for that very reason? Should I have seen this coming? I mean, who did we think we were... that we could grow beyond this noncommittal best friendship stage into something more serious.

How could we, when in the midst of that, all we had come to care about was the snapstreak? Had the nonsensical back-and-forth snaps been more work than play? More about holding a score than maintaining a friendship?

Our friendship has never been a frenzy of social media exchange, flaring like a fire and then going out when the match burns through. Rather, it's like the tug and pull of waves, flowing back to the ocean after a brief solitary moment on land. And I've started to think, I'm okay with that. It's okay that we aren't attached by the hip or super in-sync. It's okay that we can go days without texting eachother, and it's okay we can't maintain more than 15 day snapstreak. It's okay that we have to make time and space in our lives to keep each other there, because at the end of the day, whether she calls me up or I leave a voice recording or we meet up in person, what matters is that she and I are there — rooting for one another even when we can't always be physically or virtually there to do it.

And that is how our best friendship pulsates, in between that breath of space it takes for the waves to crash onto the shore and sweep across land back to the sea.

Disclaimer: This is meant to be dramatic and satirical.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Why Radio Annoys Me

The answer lies here.

Ah! The Radio...invented in 1895. It was the highlight of that time, but now in the time I am alive, it just plain annoys me.

Radio is something that is a little hard to explain without starting with the basic Google definition. That definition states that radio is “the transmission and reception of electromagnetic waves of radio frequency, especially those carrying sound messages”. Unfortunately that is not exactly the radio we are talking about today. Radio today is the radio that people listen to in the car every single day. Whether you have the regular local stations or the highly expensive Sirius XM subscription, you listen to radio in the car, unless you opt out of listening to radio by using an aux cord or cd player (which is honestly the best choice in my opinion) .

You get all of these subscriptions to certain things, but you only get the choice of the genre based station. Yes, those stations have different themes for their music, but you do not get to pick what plays. I hate when my dad is in the car and has to go through all of the local radio stations because the one he was on did not have a song he liked. Then, he cycles through all of the channels until he ends up coming back to the same one that he was at before. It just always annoys me so much! I do not know if you have ever had the same experience, but if you have, you are totally groaning right now.

I just like when I make a playlist on Spotify or on YouTube with the exact songs I want. I am the type of person that listens to one or two songs on loop over and over again until we get to wherever they have to go (most of the time lately has been toclass). I think having the same song to me is motivating to keep going to where I have to go. I like the songs that have the high and the low build ups. With being a video game nerd, I love listening to the main theme from Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It is so beautiful with the crescendos, but I digress.

I know my opinion might not agree with everyone, but the radio is just super annoying to me. I seriously cannot take the songs being random and you not knowing what is coming. The one “radio” I will listen to is the 24/7 Nintendo Game Stream by Dystifier on YouTube. It fixes some of my problems with the radio and 95% of the music is something I like to listen to. There are even times where people can request songs for free. When that happens, the manager of the stream creates a big list on a Discord chat channel with all of the songs in the order they will play over the next couple hours. It is really nice the way the guy runs the stream and it is how I wish radio kind of was.

The current regular radio stations have the problem of always just playing the same few songs over and over, that annoys me, but that is another rant for another day. Meanwhile, I would love more choices in the way traditional radio is. Until that day, I most of the time will have an earbud in when in the car with anyone, unless we hook up a playlist of some jams.

Cover Image Credit: Stock Snap

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The Scary Truth About Technology And Our Reliance On It

How did our parents survive without the internet?

Seriously. How did our parents survive without the Internet?

When I think about my childhood, we did not have access to the internet as often. However, we did have a dial up connection that allowed my brother and I to take turns playing on the silly websites such as Club Penguin and Webkinz. We also were obsessed with playing Solitaire and the traditional Pinball. Everyone remembers Pinball with the space theme and it took forever to load up on your computer unless you had the nicer desktop. Ah, great memories!

Anyways, when I think about all of the things I have to accomplish that are submitted through an internet connection, it baffles me that our parents used to not rely on it. As a college student, we have to submit our assignments through a site called Blackboard. We create the Word documents by ourselves and then have to upload them to our professors.

How did we get to a time that we don’t have to turn in hard copy forms of our essays or even homework assignments? I remember my last year in high school, I had a teacher that created this website that we had to upload all of our work on there so we had easy access to editing it.

We have become so reliant on technology, it is scary. While we have the opportunity to look up information by typing in a question to our neighborhood friend, Google, we also lose the capacity to read a book and scan for information. We also have access to our phones to be able to text and not have to talk on the phone.

However, we lose the interactions that make us human and cannot even have a simple dinner conversation without utilizing our phones for either texting our companion or surfing social media websites.

So, as I state again, how did our parents survive without the internet? How did they survive not being able to look up the information and have instant access? Seriously, we have articles available to us on the internet through college campuses and we can instantly find words and phrases that we are searching for.

When our parents were little, they had to use encyclopedias to figure out the information that they were searching for. They skimmed paragraphs upon paragraphs looking for the right facts for the essay they were either writing on notebook paper or typing on some other device. It just baffles me how used to technology we are.

When I think of libraries, I think of the Dewey Decimal System that we had to learn when we were in elementary school. Our parents did not have databases where the call numbers were saved on a computer and they could instantly find the call number. They had their file cabinets with the call numbers and author and title of the book on the card. My father had to take that card to the librarian in order to find the certain book they were looking for, search for the information he needed, and then write down the citation of it and continue on with his essay.

How on earth did our parents survive without recent technology? How will our minds be molded with future technology? That is also something to think about and that is scary.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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