Loyal Metro readers may recall that our regular tech columnist Christa Wittmier wrote about how to get the best results from Snapchat in her very first article for us, way back when in October (you can still read it here).
“To get the most out of this app, start posting to your story. Take cute videos, take photos, draw on them, time them (not too long!), swipe left to include the temperature or time of day or swipe right to change the filter, and keep adding and adding to your story all day,” she wrote.
“You are creating a little window to your life. A little reality TV show on our smartphones. Of you! Now you can watch all of your friends. It’s like peeking into their lives.”
She makes it seem so easy. In fact, a lot of people make it seem easy, dropping cute breakfast pictures with captions like, “Omelet you finish, but …” or happy videos of their adorable dogs bouncing around.
But I just cannot. I cannot Snapchat effectively.
I originally downloaded the app solely to communicate with my sister, as our phones had trouble with pictures in texts. This was about a year and a half ago. Friends who already had it quickly inaugurated me into their Snapchat circles, but I never knew how to respond to their happy selfies or hiking photos.
Maybe it’s because my life is just fundamentally uninteresting. I wake up. I go to work. I go home. I play video games or watch TV. I go to bed. Rinse and repeat 365 times. The reality TV show of my life is like a Twitch stream hosted by a person who can only make one charismatic quip every two hours. It’s just not that interesting to other people.
So while I didn’t mind receiving mundane shots of classrooms and Starbucks name misspellings, the idea of sending similar Snapchats in return was mortifying. Wouldn’t it just be annoying if I sent people that kind of stuff?
Eventually, very unsurprisingly, everyone stopped sending me things.
I can’t put my finger on why I have such a hard time with this app. Maybe I just take social media too seriously, trying to put meaning into every throw-away post. Maybe the old “best friends” feature that notes who you interact with most made me overthink things when I saw that they were my best friends, but I wasn’t theirs. Maybe I just need more self-confidence and less self-consciousness. Maybe I’m supposed to use this app as an impetus to actually leave my house at night and lead a more fulfilling, outgoing life. Maybe Snapchat was simply not designed to be used by boring people like me.
Today, I have exactly one friend with whom I regularly exchange Snapchats. I have no idea if he actually enjoys the mundane shots of my desk or lunch, but he doesn’t seem to mind.
I’m probably still not doing it right, but I’m more of a Twitter person anyway.
Editor’s Note: Staff writer Paige Takeya is temporarily filling in for Christa Wittmier. Follow Paige on Twitter at @lordmayocloud. Christa’s SuperTech column will return shortly.