Let’s get one thing straight: Snapchat is arguably the greatest and most painfully underrated form of social media ever made. Something about a non-permanent messaging program makes life so much more exciting. Looking to brag about a grade on a test without sounding too pretentious? Snap it. Eating a piece of pie while doing math homework, and the pun opportunity is too good to not share, but not good enough that your 1,000 Facebook friends will care? Snap it. Wearing an outfit cute enough for a mirror selfie, but worried about posting a painful #ootd Insta? Easy solution; snap it!
Snapchat combines the wit of Tumblr, the artistry of Instagram and the energy of Facebook all in one beautiful app. Nothing beats the emotional high of someone telling you, “Your story was so fire!” Nothing can stop the tears from streaming down your cheeks as the 24th hour comes and your humorous story of your dog howling at falling snow is gone forever (cleverly captioned “Me when I find out Mooyah is closed,” of course). There’s no other place where you can comfortably post a video of you crying over your chemistry notes as the voice of Swem warns of closing soon, or where you can capture the moment when your philosophy professor is being extra profound on your course syllabus (“The schedule is subject to change, as we all are”).
Snapchat is a creative tool, and every snap is a work of art. However, because it is still a social media outlet, every snap is also an opportunity to create a façade exclusive to social media. This does not mean, however, that people’s rawest, purest selves are completely masked by the ‘Chat. You can still tell exactly who a person is simply by watching their Snapstories on a regular basis. And if you can’t, please feel free to consult the guide I have made for you:
— A story with (usually filtered) selfies: This person either likes how they look enough that they want their entire contact list to know … or is feigning self-assurance. They’re going to get a confidence boost either way, however, because everyone always looks 10x better on Snapchat.
There’s no other place where you can comfortably post a video of you crying over your chemistry notes as the voice of Swem warns of closing soon, or where you can capture the moment when your philosophy professor is being extra profound on your course syllabus
—A story with pictures of food: This person both wants you to know they’re well-rounded enough to know how to cook, and wants you to be jealous of how much food they can eat without gaining weight (if they actually eat it, that is).
—A story with a soundtrack: Whether they provide the vocals or they use an actual track, this person is as dramatic as it gets. Sometimes they finally finish a paper and blasting “Freedom” by Aretha Franklin seems necessary. Other times, a friend is going out-of-town and they need the penny-whistle solo from “My Heart Will Go On” to wail in the background during their departure. They did theatre in high school.
—A story with an extreme face close-up: Slightly different from the S.S.S. (strictly-selfie story). This person exudes confidence to the point that they do not care what you think of them — to prove it, here’s a zoom-in on their nose.
—A story documenting Netflix binges: This person either relates to Leslie Knope on an unparalleled level, is dealing with a harsh breakup by burning Jim and Pam’s perfect relationship into their eyeballs, or really wants you to know how great their taste in TV is.
—A story consistently including videos at a party: Either this person is very “srat,” or they just want you to think their life is more exciting than it actually is. It’s usually the latter.
—A story exclusively of cats: Actually pretty straightforward. This person has a lot of cats and doesn’t want you to forget it.
Whether you’re on Snapchat or not, one thing is for sure: Those 10 minutes you spent thinking of a witty caption made you that much smarter and more creative, and those are 10 minutes you know you won’t want back.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find a reason to utilize the Charlie Brown theme in my next story.
Sarah Salem is a Confusion Corner columnist who is not afraid to use the occasional extreme close-up snap.