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Deleting Snapchat Forever: 6 Months On

6 months ago I deleted Snapchat, one of the most popular social media platforms right now, from my phone forever. To my surprise, this caused a greater stir from my friends and peers than I anticipated. One of their questions was simply, why? Well...

Snapchat logo
Six months ago I deleted Snapchat.

It's Pointless

Okay so the most obvious reason Snapchat exists is to send a photo or video to someone where they only have a small amount of time to view it.

I can't think of a single thing I'd want to send someone where they can only see it for a finite period. Users realise that sending something considered 'risky' can still be screenshotted or screen recorded by the recipient, right? Sure, the former notifies the user but it's too late by then... what's the point?

Yes, your friend might send you snaps of a lovely sunset beach scene, their failure at cooking or their derp-iest looking selfie face. But at this point it must be questioned, what value is this adding to your life? How is this helping you to achieve your goals in any way, shape or form?

Every Feature is Already on Another App

All the features that were exclusive to Snapchat have since been adopted elsewhere and arguably, done better. The most notable app that comes to mind for this is obviously Instagram.

Stories (or "highlights") on Instagram have far surpassed Snapchat's popularity, possess significantly more features (music, live video, hashtags, questions, polls etc.) and are easily kept on a user's profile. Not only this but Instagram's generally just got a better user interface for these. Fun fact: you can also set timed photos/videos on Instagram DM's if time-limited content is somehow crucial to you.

Instagram Stories at the top of a phone
Instagram Stories are easier to use and a lot more accessible.

Messages on Snapchat are awful. Not previewing on a user's lock screen creates a lot of difficulty in terms of reading a message (going into the app, swiping left, then finally tapping the user). Are we also at the stage of smartphone addiction where we need to see when a friend is 'typing' a response? Further to this, unless the user purposefully saves each individual message, it leads to a lot of confusion as to what was said by the last person to send something.

Snap Maps was the last 'innovative' feature that was introduced to the app. But this is just...creepy. Why does someone need to know exactly where you are at all times? I get it in the need of emergency. I was utterly horrified however when I was correctly questioned by a friend at least 20km away 'how did you enjoy the movie?' without even telling them I was going. Use 'Find My...' if this is really necessary to you. Otherwise #stalkeralert.

You're Missing Out on the Real World

Perhaps my main reason. Snapchat is just another app making you miss out on the real world and becoming further indulged in the screen permanently attached to you. Sure, it's nice to take photos, record moments and share these but all this is making you miss out on what really itself!

There's no need to see every living moment of someone else's day. No need to have conversations with someone on Snapchat and then have a totally separate conversation with that same person on Messenger and/or Instagram! And certainly no need to take hours out of your life finding the perfect Bitmoji, nor droning through Stories every day.

A group of people stare zombie-like into smartphones
This is no longer an uncommon sight in public places.

With Snapchat, it's not like you can look back fondly upon memories with someone because... well they're gone forever. You get that instant dopamine hit from receiving a Snap from a friend in a moment but beyond that, there's just nothing. You can't retain it, you can't look back in a day, week or month.

The Verdict

I don't hold anything against people who use Snapchat. It has merits of group chats and filters. But overall it's not adding productivity to our lives, is hardly innovative anymore and is yet another unhealthy addition to a world that is increasingly hooked to their phones more than their loved ones.

It's for these reasons that I decided to delete the app permanently and in 6 months, I have never looked back since. A friend of mine tried it several months before I did and admitted he re-downloaded it after 3 weeks because he felt like he was missing out. I think this shows how easily gambling techniques have been utilised to influence people back into the phone 'trap'.

Sticking to your guns has never been so important.


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