Snapchat has become mentally draining rather than useful

74%25+of+US+teens+in+the+15-17+age+group+use+Snapchat.+

Kasey Thompson

74% of US teens in the 15-17 age group use Snapchat.

Kasey Thompson, Managing Editor

The social media platform Snapchat, has been the primary means of communication and news source with my friends and classmates since middle school. However, as I’ve gotten older, the app has become draining over everything else. 

Between keeping daily streaks, feeling like you have to respond, locations turned on and off, snap scores and constantly being updated on all the drama through people’s stories, it doesn’t feel worth it anymore. I stay logged out of the app most of the time, however I tend to log on by the end of the day. I always feel like I’m missing out on something if I don’t check it every once in a while.

Junior Viv Hammond also experiences the negative aspect of Snapchat, but still logs in for communication purposes. 

“I’ve had a negative experience with social media. I don’t have any social media right now except Snapchat. I just think social media overall is toxic. The only reason I do [still] have [it] is just to talk to my friends,” Hammond said. 

Not only is Snapchat used for communication purposes, it’s also how I get a lot of my news. Between who’s running for homecoming court, what time the football game is on Friday or even when somebody at school passed away, the app has been how I’ve found out. That may be why I have such a hard time completely staying off of it. I always feel like I’m missing something. 

There’s this strange expectation to respond to everyone who snaps you that isn’t there when communicating through iMessage. There is a stigma behind leaving someone on delivered or opened that can be really frustrating. I find myself reading way too far into these occurrences and I know how bad it has to be for me.

Hammond also experiences these frustrations, but feels as if no one uses iMessage anymore. Without Snapchat, communication with many friends would fade away. 

“I only have 100 people [added], which isn’t actually a lot. The only reason I still have it is because if I didn’t, I probably wouldn’t talk to anyone because nobody uses iMessage [anymore],” Hammond said. 

I’ve also found that being on an app where you constantly take pictures of yourself, ends up causing at least me, to be really self-deprecating. You’re not only seeing your own face 24/7, you’re also seeing everyone’s stories as well as those who you snap constantly. It can be a fun way to stay in touch with others, but the app becomes addicting really fast. That is why I see such an importance behind learning to self-regulate with social media, especially when we are young due to how much of an effect it all has on all of us at this time in our lives.

When I have stayed logged out of the app for extended periods of time, I feel that my head is 10x clearer and I am more productive. It is so easy to get on the app and scroll through stories when I should be doing homework. That’s something I struggle with a lot. 

During the quarantine days and online school, Snapchat felt like the only way to stay in the loop. I recognized at the time how damaging it was for my mental health, but I couldn’t give up that connection that I felt so little of during those times. 

Hammond struggled with being on her phone as well, but not feeling like she could stay off of it. 

“[During quarantine], I used social media a lot because that’s all I had to do. Throughout [those days] I decided to delete [it] because I wanted to be more in the moment and not always on my phone,” Hammond said. 

I am really thankful that it is safer now to be in person. Being back in school has made me not feel as much of a pull to be on my phone in general, as frequently. A lot of the people I want to stay in touch with go to the same school as me anyways. I am now reminded of how much of a blessing it is to actually interact with people in person so much more.

I hope to get to a place at some point where I don’t even have the Snapchat app. For now, I plan to continue self regulating my time spent on it. That goes for all social media. One of my biggest goals is to learn to live a life away from my phone, I will always keep working towards that. 

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