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.
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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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Technology is making us more alone because instead of interacting with our friends in person, we are dependent on using our phones or tablets. We start to compare ourselves and our lives to others because of how many likes we get on our Instagram photos.

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This Phone Kidnapping Scam Could Cost You Thousands And My Situation Should Be A Warning

This article is to tell you my story and provide tips on how to understand what is a scam/how to prevent them.

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A few weeks ago, my family was caught in the middle of a kidnapping phone scandal that costs us a couple hundred dollars. Many times you hear these stories on the news and think it couldn't happen to you or your loved ones. Then, when it happens, you haven't taken any cautionary measures. This article is to tell you my story and provide tips on how to understand what is a scam/how to prevent them.

This scam took place between my sister and father at first. All the scammers needed was the two phone numbers and some computer software to trick us. They began by calling both my sister and father at the same time. The call to my sister's phone looked like it was coming from my father because they use software that made the call come from my father's phone number. Caller ID showed my father's name and made it seem like they had his phone. The same concept happened to my father with my sister's number.

After they get you to pick up, they told both my father and sister they had kidnapped the other. They told my father they kidnapped her off the streets. They told my sister that my father had a debt to pay and they're holding him hostage until they get the amount. At this point, both my sister and dad think the other is being held hostage (when neither was). They tell you not to hang up the phone or they will hurt the loved one.

They then ask for money in the form of VISA gift cards or such. They will tell you to buy/max out multiple cards to the highest it will allow (usually $500) and then tell you to read the numbers of the card to them. This makes them untraceable. The number varies between each scammer so that might now always indicate a scam.

The reason you don't immediately hang up is that they are smarter than just telling you they have someone you love. For example, they used personal information they made my sister tell them against my father (and vise-versa). They make you say your location (ex. my sister's college) and what is around you to make it believable.

Also, people tend to begin these times and they will use all of the info you share against the other person they called to make it seem real. On top of the info, they record parts of the conversation when someone is talking and play it back for the other. In our case, they told my sister to say, "Don't worry dad, I'll take care of us. We'll be okay". Then, they played this clip back for my father to make it seem like they actually had her there.

Now, most people just think it's so easy to just hang up and call bullshit but they make it very clear not to mess with their rules. They told my father not to tell anyone about this, stay on the line at all times, and do what they say. If he was to not listen, they threatened to rape and/or kill my sister. This obviously is a brutal image to even imagine, so it's not worth risking it. So, he stayed on the line.

My mother then came up to my father and figured out what was happening and the real game began. She took the phone and used her skills at lying to delay buying the cards. My sister didn't have anyone with her at college so she ended up giving them a few gift cards. She then was stranded at a Kroger just waiting. They kept her on the line to keep recording her voice for my mom. Now that my father wasn't on the phone, he called the police and began investigating. He called her roommate and asked if he had seen my sister.

The roommate hadn't seen her; however, he had her location turned on. He tracked her to Kroger and ran there (he lives in the city). The roommate and my father worked with the police and SWAT team to get my sister. Meanwhile, my mom is just acting like an idiot and asking many questions because she wanted them to think she was confused. Any lie she could think of, she was using.

When the SWAT team saw my sister, they didn't grab her immediately. They made sure nobody was with her. After confirming she was alone, they radioed that they had the victim. This caused my sister confusion because she didn't think she was the victim. She still thought they had our mom and dad. So she's yelling at SWAT to find my parents. They then bring her to the station and explain what was actually happening. After my parents got confirmation my sister was safe, they called the scammers out and they hung up immediately. All were safe and the police were now trying to track the scammers.

Overall, it took hours to get the full story from all 4 people (and what you just read was the abridged version). They then took my sister's phone and made my parents come to pick her and her phone up.

HOW TO PREVENT SOMETHING LIKE THIS:

- Turn on your location with at least 3 trusted people and tell your family who has it

-Make a code word in case this situation happens so you know it's real

-Never actually buy the cards they ask for

-Always have a pad and paper so you can write notes to people if they are around

-DO NOT tell them how much money you have

-Never trust the scammer, even if they tell you some true information

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