Why Are We So Obsessed With Snapstreaks?

Why Are We So Obsessed With Snapstreaks?

Seriously, it's an issue.
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I am beginning to get so annoyed. Snapchat owned my life for a period of time which I am slightly unwilling to admit, and I am now coming to my senses. I was completely obsessed with keeping up my Snapchat streaks and insisted that I needed to have as many streaks as possible. When one of my streaks broke by accident, I came to realize that it literally means nothing. So why are we so obsessed?

If you really don't know anything about Snapchat, the "snapstreak" addiction stems from the fire emoji that will appear next to someone's name when you and that person have snapped back and forth for more than three consecutive days.

The fire emoji pops up and suddenly, your world is shifted upside down. You are now a slave to Snapchat, condemned to deal with constant, crippling anxiety if you do not keep up with and check up on your streaks every hour of every day.

For some, it's a science. Same time, every day, they send out a mass snap with the caption "streaks" dedicated specifically to keeping all of the snapstreaks alive and in check. For others, it might constitute a need to always be on Snapchat, constantly checking on and replying (but not really having a conversation) to streaks throughout the day.

So, what's the big deal about keeping the snapstreak alive?

Of course, in order to answer this question, I had to get the opinion of the people. I took to my Snapstory, posting a video of my headline with the following caption: "Have an opinion? Reply to this story with why we care so much about our snapstreaks!"

My first response was, "It's highkey like losing a friendship."

That seems to be the general consensus; it's a commitment. The higher the streak, the "stronger" or "more real" the friendship must be. In essence, if someone forgot to keep your streak, they forgot about you that day. And we, the self-centered human race, will not stand for that. "The hourglass is up!" a girl screeches when the boy she is "talking to" hasn't responded to her Snapchat all day. Translation: an "hourglass" emoji will appear next to the streak if 24 hours has passed and the parties involved haven't snapped each other in that time.

We have a streak. It's like you talk or text all the time, except with even less effort. But it's still categorized as a commitment. It was pointed out by one responder to my Snapchat that "people in our generation believe that having this small connection with someone will lead to bigger and better things."

In response to why girls care so much about having streaks with boys they're interested in, one said, "It's a compliment when someone not only wants to talk to you but also doesn't mind seeing your face every day."

So the hourglass is up. And the commitment may be coming to a close. Girls start to think, "He hates me, he likes a different girl, he doesn't care about me, he's bored of me..." and the overreaction continues.

Or maybe he just was too busy to open the freaking app today.

"It shouldn't mean anything about the friendship or relationship in real life," said one student. "If someone loses a streak by accident it just means they're living life away from their phone, it doesn't mean they don't like the person you lost the streak with."

Other students outwardly and vehemently opposed the snapstreak addiction altogether. In response to the question on my Snapstory I received a few, "We don't [care about our streaks]."

And it seems like that viewpoint is growing on people. How long can you keep it up?

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Stoneman HS Colorguards

We are all with you and thinking of you at this time.
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When I was fourteen years old, I had just begun to explore the world of colorguard. I went to seven am rehearsals every day with my older brother which I thought was the coolest thing, I traveled for contests and experienced winterguard for the first time as well. My parents always made it to my performances and always made sure to tell me how proud they were of me and loved me after everything I have done.

As it has come to light that one of the victims of the Stoneman Douglas HS shooting in Florida was a fourteen-year-old girl by the name of Gina Montalto who had just begun her journey into a sport that I fell in love with so many years ago.

She was set to perform at her first WGI regional this weekend in Tampa as well. She had the world ahead of her as she went to school on Valentine's Day thinking it would be like any other school day. She was probably preparing herself for her performance this weekend alongside many amazing teammates who I have no doubt pushed her to be an amazing performer.

All I have seen is that she was a sweet and kind young woman who I have no doubt was special. I also saw that she was just beginning a journey into falling in love with an amazing sport.

Many of you are probably asking yourselves why I am writing about someone I never knew at this point. WGI is a community that connects people in ways you never expect. You meet performers from all across the United States as well as internationally. Many are lucky enough to keep these friendships for life. Gina is a member of a large community that has been sending its love and thoughts to Florida during this tragic time.

The colorguard community has also been standing up and asking for a change to prevent violence like this from continuing. I have seen it across my social media feeds for the past day that each colorguard page I follow regardless if it is the official WGI page, people like PunkRockIrving, or teams from across the entire country, they all share a similar message. A message of condolence and prayer along with a request for a change to begin.

As the days continue to pass by and competitions seem to fly by for so many performers whether it be on your state's circuit or within WGI, hug your friends and your teammates a little tighter as you go on through your season this year. Be a voice in the community that so many have called a home and do not be afraid to speak up for what you believe in.

Show the members of Stoneman Douglas HS winterguards how appreciated they are this season if you ever get the chance. Their performers are some of the most dedicated that I have ever seen at World Championships and over social media. I have the utmost confidence that Gina's legacy will be carried with each of them as they perform.

Cover Image Credit: Stoneman Douglas HS

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Why I'm Pro-Choice

Abortion: a necessary evil.
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I live in a very conservative area, so the pro-choice/pro-life debate is usually a hot topic. When I see a post on Facebook arguing about abortion, I try to ignore it for the most part. I chime in every now and then, but I know that my opinions mostly fall on deaf ears. But today I have decided to take a stance: I am pro-choice, and I have something to say.

Let me start off by saying that I am not pro-abortion. I think abortion is terrible and it’s sad that it exits. But, I do think that abortion is necessary. In the 50s and 60s, before Roe v. Wade, the number of illegal abortions was astronomically high. The number of illegal abortions ranged anywhere between 200,000 and over 1 million each year. Out of these, almost 20% of all maternal deaths were a result of illegal abortions. (source)

Since the legalization of abortion, many women now have access to the proper medical care necessary for safe abortions. The amount of women that die as a direct result of abortion is almost non-existent. The past has proven that make abortion illegal wont stop abortions from happening. This will only increase the amount of unsafe abortions and the number of women who die from them.

My next opinion is bound to make some people upset but, until it reaches a certain age, there is no way for a fetus to survive on its own. At this stage in development, the fetus is essentially a parasite. A parasite is defined as “an organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host's expense.” Until a fetus reaches the stage at which it is able to survive on its own, I do not consider it to be a person. It sounds harsh, but it’s simply the reality of the situation. The earliest that a fetus can survive outside of the womb is about 22 weeks. (source) Abortions rarely occur after this stage in a pregnancy, and when they do, it is only when a doctor says that it is medically necessary. As of now, almost 99% of abortions occur before the 21st week of pregnancy. (source)

A lot of people will argue that, “if you don’t want a baby, you shouldn’t have sex.” This, I believe, is an irresponsible statement to make. Yes, it seems like the obvious solution, but one that is impossible to enforce. Instead of shaming women for their sex lives, we should be encouraging and education on safe sex practices and making it easier for them to obtain contraceptives. This would greatly decrease the need for abortions because it would decrease the number of unwanted pregnancies overall. Not to mention that over half of the women that receive abortions already have at least one child. (source)

We can argue about whether or not life begins at conception. We can argue about religious or moral reasons for not having abortions. But the fact of the matter is: abortion is necessary, whether you like it or not.

Cover Image Credit: http://clipart-library.com/clipart/8i65erMbT.htm

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