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‘Snap’ and Chat’: Students should use Snapchat more efficiently by chatting with friends when sending photos

Alina Yu

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How often are you on your phone? Every hour? Every minute? When I look at the Screen Time tab in the Settings app on my iPhone, I see over half of my time is spent under “social networking.” And over 90 percent of the time, that time is spent on Snapchat.

It always amazes me how much time I see under that tab and then realizing that every snap I send to my friends is another minute added onto social networking. According to a 2018 survey conducted by Pew Research Center, 35 percent out of 65 percent of U.S. teenage Snapchat users say they use Snapchat the most often, a response larger than Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Snapchat always seemed like the most efficient way to keep in touch with friends and stay present on social media. Yet what I thought was a few minutes of my time spent making a goofy face to send to my snap streaks ended up being hours by the end of the day because of opening snaps, sending snaps and viewing snap stories.

However, it was not just the time spent on Snapchat that had my concern. I found myself also questioning whether sending the snaps were worth it. According to the same Pew Research Center survey, out of the 24 percent of U.S. who said social media had a most negative effect on people their own age, 17 percent said social media harms relationships and causes a lack of in-person contact, the second highest negative response. When reflecting upon my own Snapchat experiences, I began to realize that most of the photos I was sending to my friends were meaningless for our friendship—just a to keep the streak flame from disappearing. When I could have a conversation with peers in class or in the hallway, I instead sent photos of my face or forehead with no text. I forgot the “chat” in Snapchat.

I am by no means discrediting the presence of Snapchat as an app taking up my phone storage. It is a great social media platform to share memories with friends using videos or photos that last for seconds. I can catch up on the lives of my friends and other news through snap stories, as well as slide up on stories to start conversations. Snapchat is a great interactive platform to gain the latest news within your community and the world.

However, I urge users to start more conversations than blindly just send a blank screen or snapshot of the carpet. Furthermore, turn off Snapchat notifications to be more present in the moment and with the peers surrounding you. Since turning off those notifications, I find I value the snaps my streaks send me throughout the day even more and my photos have become more meaningful images of conversation. Send some text in the “glow” or “rainbow” fonts along with your filtered selfie, ask how your friend’s day is going or comment on the exciting events going on in your life. Gain the most from the “snap” and “chat” of your iPhone.

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About the Writer
Alina Yu, Social Media Editor

Hello! I am a three-year staff member for the HiLite. I have been a Feature reporter and the Entertainment section editor, and now I am one of the Social...

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