I know that Snapchat has the reputation of serving as a means for teenagers to send inappropriate pictures without consequences. It was no surprise to me that during our first class, many people rolled their eyes when it was mentioned. Although I think there’s more to Snapchat then meets the eye.
I attended the Wharton Web Conference last year, and truly enjoyed the keynote speaker Danah Boyd. She discussed why Snapchat is so popular amongst young users. On Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, there’s a lot of clutter, causing people to become passive users.
On a personal note, I’ve had my Facebook for ten years, and there are many people connected to me that are no longer relevant to my life. This causes my usage to be more and more passive. Twitter has lost much of my interest because its now a time commitment to read (and really, who has time for this?). And lastly, Instagram is wonderful for being a low time commitment, but I spend all of 2 seconds looking at each post, and nothing sticks to my memory.
The end result is that young people are leaving the clutter of traditional social media behind, and using Snapchat because users actually look at their friend’s posts and process what they see. When a friend posts a funny video on Snapchat, I take the time to watch it and laugh with him/her. I feel more connected to them than I would using any other form of social media simply because I take the time to understand what I’m watching.
I recommend to my classmates to give Snapchat a second chance, its differences from other traditional social media make it quite profound.
A quote from a post by Ms. Boyd:
“In a digital world where everyone’s flicking through headshots, images, and text without processing any of it, Snapchat asks you to stand still and pay attention to the gift that someone in your network just gave you. As a result, I watch teens choose not to open a Snap the moment they get it because they want to wait for the moment when they can appreciate whatever is behind that closed door. And when they do, I watch them tune out everything else and just concentrate on what’s in front of them. Rather than serving as yet-another distraction, Snapchat invites focus.”
Boyd, Danah. “Why Snapchat is Valuable: It’s All About Attention.” Danah Boyd. Retrieved from http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2014/03/21/snapchat-attention.html