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Snapchat Like a Champion Today

Sam Stryker | Wednesday, January 23, 2013


First there was the moving printing press. Then there was the telephone, the Internet and then texting. But nothing has quite revolutionized the way we communicate as Snapchat has, the smartphone app that allows users to send a picture message to a friend for a designated amount of time (up to 10 seconds). After that time period, the picture disappears forever. Ostensibly created for men like Anthony Weiner, Snapchat has taken the world, including Notre Dame’s campus, by storm. It is impossible to go a day without walking around campus and seeing someone puckering up to take a selfie, which you know inevitably will be sent as a Snapchat.

But not all Snapchats are created equal. I have become increasingly frustrated with friends who do not follow proper (if unwritten) Snapchat etiquette. The following is a list of guidelines to ensure that you Snapchat like a champion today.

Time is of the essence

Snapchat is called “Snapchat” for a reason. Nothing peeves me more than receiving a 10-second Snapchat with one of my friends. It’s the iPhone equivalent of trying to read “War and Peace” in one sitting. I just don’t have that type of attention span to look at the same image on a screen for a full 10 seconds. If I wanted to see your ugly mug for more than six seconds, I would go onto Facebook and look at your photos from high school. Keep it short and sweet, and never send a Snapchat that lasts more than six seconds. It’s the appropriate amount of time that I can register on my iPhone screen what I am seeing, but not too long that I get bored.

The more chins, the better

Face it: You aren’t the second coming of Cindy Crawford. The purpose of a picture message that disappears just second after the receiver views it is to look as ugly as possible. We know you are beautiful in real life, just have a sense of humor about it and pretend like you fell off the ugly tree and hit a couple of branches hard on the way down. Don’t try to look hot. If you need to play visual tricks and look better than you actually are, use Instagram. Otherwise, pucker up and make that disgusting face.

You’re not the next Van Gogh

After the classic 10-second Snapchat, my next biggest beef with the app is when people start utilizing the pen tool and scribbling all over the picture they just took of themselves. Throw in the inevitable text message in the Snapchat and you have visual overload. When you start drawing on your Snapchat, you look like an over-caffeinated preschooler, not the second coming of Michelangelo. Stick to the classic Snapchat format of ugly picture and simple text, and you have a winning combination.

Send a message

I hate when someone just sends me a picture of just them making a funny face. Like, I know there is a reason that you appear constipated, but work with me here. That is why the text you include in your Snapchat is so crucial. Things that are important in a Snapchat text are wit and brevity. Get short and to the point, and make me laugh. This isn’t John Adams and Thomas Jefferson communicating about the state of the nation, you don’t have to be serious. I want to know about how grossly full you feel after eating a big meal or you dressed in sweatpants commenting on your Netflix situation for the evening. Grammar doesn’t matter. In fact, mistakes are encouraged. For instance, if you send me a photo of yourself in a gray hoodie eating a massive bowl of ice cream, an appropriate message would be “Fattie 4 Lyfe!!!” It shows that you have a sense of humor and don’t take your impending obesity seriously.

This isn’t texting

Don’t go asking me serious, life-altering questions like “Going out tonight?” in your Snapchat, because I’m not going to respond. Texting is the appropriate method to communicate about important information, Snapchat is its flirty cousin. Frankly, it takes too much time and effort to consider your question, take an appropriate picture, draft a response and send it to you. Just text me.



The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.
Contact Sam Stryker at [email protected].