Is Snapchat Ruining Our Lives?

Posted on February 4, 2017 - I think it’s safe to say social media has fully taken over the lives of millennials. These ever-changing websites, apps, and software are by no means all bad, in fact they all began as wonderful ways to stay connect to friends and family across the globe. The thing is, staying connected and sharing significant milestones has now become real-time sharing of everything from the extraordinary to the mundane.

Yes, you guessed it, I’m talking about Snapchat, and more recently Instagram Stories. The obsessive documentation of everyday life is deeply concerning, and not just for the ones doing the documenting. Before I continue, I must confess that I am an offender myself. I have most certainly snapped things that didn’t need sharing, or fabricated a scene to improve a snap. With that being said, let’s talk about the problematic nature of real-time social media.

When we see something beautiful and immediately reach for our phone to take a snap, are we really seeing it? When we do something exciting and pull out our phone to take a video, are we really doing it? If we’re at an incredible show or party but we’re experiencing it through our phone screens, are we really even there? We’re recording the highlights of our lives, others are watching them and feeling jealous, but in reality no one is really living these moments.

This type of social media is no longer about connecting with your loved ones and staying in touch, it’s about making your life appear extraordinary to the outside observer. Why must we constantly glamorize and romanticize everyday life? Seems like a lot of pressure, right?

I can say with certainty that every moment of everyday is not remarkable, in fact, several of them are spent watching Netflix, not looking nearly camera-ready (in my case at least). Posting only our best doesn’t make us feel so hot when we’re at our worst. We lay in bed watching our friends, but not really friends, post photos and videos of travel, glamour, beauty, fun, friends, and idealistic lives that can only be possible through a Snapchat story. How does that really make us feel?

I get it, Snapchat and other such apps are awesome ways to send jokes, greetings, or check-ins to those you love, be we need to take into account the toxic side of it as well. I haven’t even mentioned the following of celebrities! How on earth are we supposed to feel good about going to work, cooking meals, and sleeping in homes with bedrooms and bathrooms in the single digits if we’re constantly peeking into the lives of the rich and famous?

It’s easy to say you don’t take it seriously, you hardly post, or you don’t care, but you must keep in mind the more deep-rooted effects that come about when you’re only observing the best and most remarkable of other’s lives, and trying to make your life look equally remarkable. Try not looking or posting for a few days, see how you feel, that’s all I ask! I know that Snapchat does no good for my self-worth, how about you? What do you think about real-time social media, toxic or harmless?

Written by Britanny Burr
Britanny is a Freelance Writer and Editor with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She grew up in the Rocky Mountains and is currently dwelling in Vancouver. She loves pool parties (though they are few and far between because she lives in Canada), hairless cats (though she hasn't yet met one in real life), and people who make her laugh. You can find her dancing, reading, drinking coffee or wine (dependent on the time of day), and watching Boy Meets World re-runs. @britburr More articles by Britanny Burr

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