Snapchat stories have opened up a world of possibilities. With the click of a button we can see a picture or video for ten seconds of anyone, anything, and anywhere. The app, which appeals to our generation of short-attention-spanned social media users, lets us know too much about people whether they are our best friends or a celebrity to whom we have no relationship. However, Snapchat stories are not all created equally, and as an avid Snapchat user I have come across various reasons for why people post “snap stories,” which I have gathered into the four following categories.
People want others to know who they are with, what they are doing, and where they are. This human tendency has increased exponentially since the birth of social media because it gives us the power to seem more important than we really are. I have been the culprit of posting snap stories with my friends so that people don’t think I’m in bed watching a movie by myself. Recently, when I have had the tendency to port a snap story just to show my followers that I have a life, I have refrained because in reality, I don’t think most people think that if they don’t see a story from me that they should jump to the conclusion that I am a friendless hermit.
I also blame myself for being a habitual offender of posting snap stories because I see something funny, interesting, or worthy of boasting. Snapchat is a short-term social media form of “Show and Tell,” but it should not be taken as the sole representation of someone. I enjoy looking at people’s stories, but I also know that ten seconds of someone’s life is not to be taken as absolute. People might try to make their life seem more glamorous or hilarious on Snapchat, but it’s important to remember that ten seconds is short in the span of our lives and should be viewed as such.
If you need to make a PSA, but it’s time sensitive and you don’t want to put in the effort of creating a Facebook post, then you probably resort to a snap story because it gets the message out there quickly. Maybe you also posted something to Facebook, but you are trying to get people to come get free pizza on the first floor of your dorm and you want to flood all social media platforms for the most coverage. At any given moment there is probably someone on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or Yik Yak, and Snapchat is the perfect place for someone who wants to get immediate results and not have the message linger on the Internet for longer than it is relevant.
Lastly, someone might have posted a story because he or she meant to send it to one person, but his or her finger accidentally clicked the “My Story” option. These stories will probably be deleted immediately or in the morning when they are checking social media.
Having just been on spring break I have seen every example of these reasons for posting a snap story, and I know that I partake in some of these motives. Snapchat, although entertaining and interactive, should not substitute actual memories and real life. So I will keep avidly using Snapchat, but I’ll remember to put the phone down sometimes and just live life in the moment, and not for the next 24 hours while my story is visible.