About four years ago during my freshman year of high school, I started to descend into this lonely pit of darkness and sadness.
I believe all my depression and low self esteem started when I downloaded Snapchat. From the very first snap I sent, I was hooked. Snapchat consumed my life and ruined me.
I took a two year break from Snapchat during my junior and senior year of high school, but decided to try it again since I just started college. I recently went through all my "friends" and unadded anyone I didn't know, anyone who had the wrong intentions, and anyone who ever made me feel the way I did for three years.
Now that I have this social media platform back again, I am beginning to realize why I got rid of it in the first place.
1. Snapchat allows users to hide behind a filter.
Everyone is familiar with Snapchat's cheesy dog filter and the face slimming and smoothing filters. The app even has filters that apply makeup for you.
People use these to cover up their imperfections and to look more like what society sees as acceptable beauty standards.
I am guilty of this. I won't send a snapchat without using the filter "Happy Vibe Lite". It smooths my skin and makes me look tan, makes my eyes blue, and makes my hair look bleach blonde instead of dirty blonde.
People on the other side of the screen would never know that my real eye color is green or that I actually have a pimple on my cheek. And I like it that way. I don't like people seeing my imperfections.
That's the problem here - users shouldn't feel like they need to change their appearance to be accepted or loved by others.
Allowing the option of filters that change your appearance is like telling people that they aren't good enough in their own skin. No one needs any filters or alterations. Everyone is beautiful just the way they are.
2. Snap Scores are like a ranking in the social hierarchy of Snapchat.
Every time someone adds you back on Snapchat or sends you a snap, you get a number of points added to your Snap Score. I have seen people with scores ranging from 2,000 to 400,000.
It just depends on how popular you are and how many people contact you.
This automatically creates a bar that people must reach in order to be considered "cool" or "popular". The thing is, a score does not define you. People become irritated, including me, when someone has a higher score than them.
It draws in jealousy, judgment, and comparisons. It is an unwritten rule of Snapchat that if you have a score below 30,000-50,000 you are weird or an outcast. This is so wrong! No one should ever be defined by a number, especially on social media.
3. Users become obsessed with Snapstreaks and allow them control their lives and friendships.
"Dude snap me back! We're going to lose our streak!" I hear this way too much. If two people send Snapchats to each other for more than three days, they start a "streak".
People take streaks very seriously. It's as if the streak ends, so does the friendship. Why are people so obsessed with streaks? Users are letting streaks take over their lives.
Many of my friends would have their phones taken away and they would ask me if they could log in on my phone to send out streaks. Honestly, streaks are so dumb and stressful.
Who cares how many days you have snapped each other consecutively?
To anyone who has Snapchat, please don't let it get the best of you like it did to me. Use it responsibly and embrace your natural beauty.