Technology has been around for what feels like so long, many people don't remember what life was like without it. One of the apps that has made an impact on the way humans communicate is "Snapchat." This innovative app is a fun way to message your friends through pictures or videos. Users of Snapchat commonly know the term "streak" as the number of days two people have been Snapchatting. This streak is broken if you don't snap each other within 24 hours. I like to think of it as Snapchat's way of getting its users to become hooked to the app. When life became busy in college, I broke all my streaks and I couldn't be happier about it.
While I love communicating with my friends on Snapchat, I have sometimes felt like my relationships were defined by this never-ending number. What was this number supposed to remind me of? Should I think of the minutes, hours, and days I have wasted on my phone? Or, should it remind me that no matter what I do, I will never be satisfied with this irrelevant and unending number? The "positive message" that Snapchat was trying to make me feel towards these streaks kept on getting clouded by these other rational thoughts. Eventually, I couldn't understand the point of it anymore and I broke them all.
It was a slow process, breaking my streak addiction. First, it started with turning my notifications off, then burying the app deep into a file labeled "time waster" so I would have to be intentional about opening the program. This eventually broke my automatic reflex to tap on the app whenever I was bored. Eventually, I just forgot about it one busy day and all my streaks were gone.
Many people would say that breaking these streaks is like saying the relationships aren't important to me, but that simply isn't true. I care about my friends and family just as much as everyone else does, but sometimes life can get busy and streaks are the last thing on my mind. Schoolwork, jobs, and other issues can stretch a person so thin that requiring a Snapchat streak in order for a relationship to be valid is a little ridiculous. Real relationships should be based on respect for one another and forcing this streak upon the other person when they need time to take care of themselves isn't respectful at all.
Another thing to keep in mind is logging on Snapchat when you are with your friends or family. What does this appear to say to them when you would rather be messaging other people? Live in the moment, talk with those surrounding you, and don't let opportunities slip from your fingers. Stop posting a billion concert videos on your story and just listen to the music because you don't have to prove to anyone that you are having fun. Besides, you have to know that no one watches more than two of those videos. This desperate need to show others what you are doing is consuming the time you could be spending laughing, living, and loving. Take a picture for memories, but don't let your pictures take your memories.
Live in the wonderful age of technology, but don't be consumed by it. Relationships should be rooted in a love for each other and not a number, so stop treating streaks so much more than what they are. They are numbers that do not define you. The same goes for a person's age, weight, and geographical coordinates. How old, what size, or nationality you are shouldn't be a reason to segregate a person because we are all human beings. Why should the irrelevance of a number be any different for a Snapchat streak?