You would think, would you not, that as you Googled "how to delete snapchat account" in a moment of frustration, that you would consider the long term effects and general inconvenience that this might cause. Wrong. Oops. I'm now two months into a Snapchat - free life and, to be honest, apart from a few minor irritations (including a lot of confusion from friends at why they can't find my name to text/send photos to/add to group chats) and a near - constant stream of "I was so SURE I had you added on Snapchat" "Have you blocked me?" "Why can't I find your name?!", it has been quite a smooth transition.
I made the decision to delete Snapchat when it got to the point where I wasn't enjoying the app anymore; I had too many streaks with people I didn't talk to, I'd spent too long of each day opening, refreshing looking at constant updates of people's days that didn't make me feel any better if I was sitting at home that day, or stopped me from enjoying what I was doing if I was out. So, one evening, giving a few friends whose phone numbers I didn't have (is that not weird, as a concept, that we don't have the mobile numbers of some of our close friends?) a little bit of notice, I deleted it. First the app, then the account.
And for the first week, two weeks, three weeks, even, I really, really missed it. I missed those twice weekly instalments of the E! News Rundown, I missed seeing what my friends were doing constantly, and I missed that false sense of connection that comes with sending photos of your face back and forth all day. It seems crazy, looking back now, that everything that I had hated, was what I missed the most. I spent the next few weeks, as if running on auto pilot, reaching to tap the yellow ghost icon, only to realise what I'd done, a feeling that, to be completely honest, has only recently subsided.
Snapchat was, and this has been previously confirmed by my phone's battery usage, the application that I spent the most time on in the past year. I would check it before school, after school, and intermittently throughout the day. I had just shy of twenty five streaks, watched the Snap Stories of all my friends, as well as all five Kardashian/Jenner sisters, and read, daily, four or five 'Discover' publications from websites, magazines, and celebrity gossip sites. Yet, I would never have called myself an addict; this stemmed from the knowledge that most people my age were consuming the same amount of content that I was.
I previously mentioned the 'false sense' of a social connection. Sending and receiving photos of yourself, your friend, the ceiling or the floor without a point or caption is not communication. Talking to someone, experiencing real life, and everyday interactions, are. The risk with Snapchat, and Instagram, and other social media platforms, is the risk of missing out on day to day experiences, conversations or interactions, through the burial of our heads in our phones. A quick chat with a barista, meeting up with friends, face to face; these aren't things you will find online.
Don't get me wrong: I love social media. I still use Instagram, occasionally Facebook, and I run the Twitter for my own online teen magazine, run by myself and a friend in Toronto. I also very nearly flaked on the zero - Snapchat life. Upon receiving a request to delete an account, Snapchat deactivates it for thirty days before completely deleting it. About twenty five days in, I panicked and logged back into my account. Nothing happened. I looked around at people's stories for a few minutes, but the feeling of dread that sunk back into me as I did so made me realise: I do not need this. Social media can be great, but if anything makes you feel like that, it's not worth it.
The author is co-founder of The Scrapbook Magazine, and meanwhile can be found ambling around on the following social platforms: