Breakup 3.0: Snapchat
Throughout the past couple weeks of this course we read a book called, Breakup 2.0. Disconnecting over New Media by Ilana Gershon. It was a very interesting book but a lot of the information was outdated and was not relevant to this generation’s lives. The main form of social media throughout that text was Facebook, and although Facebook is still relevant in a lot of our lives, it is used as often as other social media sites. For example, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Tinder and Snapchat are few newer social media sites that this generation is more likely to engage on.
The social media website that I chose to discuss for this blog past was Snapchat. Snapchat is one of the most relevant sites within my life and my peers lives today. Snapchat is, “an image messaging and multimedia mobile application created by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown, former students at Stanford University, and developed by Snap Inc., originally Snapchat Inc.,” (Snapchat). Snapchat was an iOS only app in July 2011.I originally joined the Snapchat world in November 2013, I was a little late to the party. Snapchat was originally a social media site where you sent pictures back and forth to one another and the pictures were only available for ten seconds, which some individuals like that aspect of Snapchat. Snapchat has evolved in numerous ways since 2011. Some of the updates that individuals disliked was no longer being able to view your Snapchat friends’ best friends on Snapchat. When that original update occurred the social media world went crazy. Girlfriends/boyfriends could no longer see who their significant other was snapchatting all the time. That “best friend” feature on Snapchat is still no longer there. Other updates that have occurred since I have been on the site are being able to send videos, being able to post stories- stories are snapchats that any of your snapchat friends can see-, and filters have also become a big recent update. The most recent update that individuals have really started to like was the update of not only being able to send pictures and videos to your Snapchat friends but now being able to text over Snapchat, which a lot of people now take advantage of.
Forbes estimates that about 50 million people currently use Snapchat, the media age of the users of Snapchat is eighteen. Facebook has admittedly seen a decline among teenagers. Its average age of users is around forty, (Coalo). Individuals now use Snapchat as another form of communication with the peers and friends. In order to be friends on Snapchat you have to either add them by username or by phone number. This makes Snapchat a little more private than other Social media sites. For example, Instagram and Twitter if individual’s profiles aren’t private individuals can see whatever you may post. Snapchat you have to accept them to be your friend, otherwise they are not able to see any of your stories or are not able to snapchat you. Throughout the rest of this blog post I will discuss the several media ideologies of snapchat, the idioms of practice, the structure of the medium, remediation, second- order information that is often on Snapchat and the public of Snapchat. I will also be adding in stories of friends and peers and also personal stories that I have experiences while using Snapchat.
There are several media ideologies surrounding the social media app Snapchat. Ideologies are, “world views, a system of values, attitudes and beliefs which an individual, group or society holds to be true or important, these are often shared by culture or society about how the society should function,” (Ideology). Media ideologies are especially important because they help shape how individuals should use certain apps. Every individual using Snapchat can view a message differently. For example, one media ideology about Snapchat is that it is not normal for random individuals to add you on snapchat, unless you give them your username or they have your phone number in which they can add you from that.
Another ideology about Snapchat is that “mass snaps” – which is a snap that is not personal and is sent to a numerous amount of your Snapchat friends- is not a personal snap to individuals. I know in some instances people receive a snap from an individual that they may have a crush on, and it was indeed a mass snap but the individual takes it as a personal snapchat and often replies. When they reply then often look stupid because the snap was not meant directly to them it was a mass snap for a lot of his friends to see. Now, mass snaps are a little less common because the idea of stories on snapchat, when you upload a story all of your friends can see your Snapchat, which is very similar to a mass snap. Other media ideologies of Snapchat are when you are snapping pictures to your close friends it is acceptable to make funny faces and not look as good. But when you are snapping a crush, your boyfriend, or boys in general girls often try to look prettier. Originally, Snapchat’s sole purpose was to have instant communication with friends via photograph with minimum text, (Snapchat and Ideology of Communication). Another ideology of Snapchat is if you are in a Snapchat conversation and just don’t respond it is often considered rude.
Idioms of Practice
Individuals idioms of practice are often all different. Stated in the book, “groups of friends, classes, workers in an office will all develop together their own ways of using media to communicate with each other,” (Gershon, pg. 39). The way individuals use social media, for example Snapchat can be very distinctive. For example, I have a lot of my friends on snapchat and a few of my family members. Before I post a story that is too crazy or shows me partying on the weekends I will make sure that my family members are blocked from seeing my story because I do not want them knowing everything that I do. Also, my group of friends use Snapchat differently than how we use Snapchat when we are communicating with boys. When we are communicating with one another we will send random Snapchats and often times not very attractive looking Snapchats. But when we are snapping an individual that we may be interested in we usually try to appear more attractive. For example, when one of my friends Bailey uses Snapchat to communicate with boys she is interested in she almost always puts on of the “pretty filters” on her face. When she snaps her close friends, she doesn’t add any filters.
In the book Breakup 2.0, Gershon examples that there are two main reasons why idioms of practice are used. The first reason that she stated was, “because there are new medias, people haven’t had time to develop a widespread consensus about how to use a medium, especially for a relatively rare communicative tasks such as breaking up,” (Gershon, pg. 39). For this reason, there are often a lot of miscommunications throughout social media sites, especially Snapchat. The second reason that Gershon explains is, “communicating with these new medias, can present social dilemmas that people have to solve-and will often try to figure out with their friends,” (Gershon, pg. 40). This proves my statement above, that because there are so many different idioms of practice while using Snapchat it can present social miscommunications among people.
Structure of the Medium
The structure of Snapchat is very unique and not really similar to any other social media app. Snapchat is a form of social media that originally used all images. Also, the images would only appear for ten seconds and then disappear unless an individual screenshotted the picture, which is known as a cardinal sin within the Snapchat world. Snapchat used to only allow a small amount of words also, which sometimes made it difficult for individuals to have conversations. Now with the new feature of Snap texting it is easier for individuals to hold more conversations over Snapchat. I think Snapchat is an informal way of communicating with individuals. I know several friends find that Snapchat is a way of communication in the beginning stages of a relationship. Individuals that are in a relationship use Snapchat on top of texting or communicating face to face. For example, when I was in a relationship I would often time be Snapchatting more of a joking conversation on Snapchat with my boyfriend and then we would also be texting more of a serious conversation. We would almost always have both conversations going on simultaneously. Snapchat is often used to send funny pictures seen throughout the day also. Snapchat allows people to upload stories, which I discussed in previous sections. Stories have become very popular in the recent year.
According to another website, Snapchat has several tips and tricks that people do not know about, (Singh). One feature is that you can activate several different settings in your manage settings of your own personal Snapchat. I know on one account that one of my friends used this to her advantage. She was “talking” to one guy and she was visiting another guy that she was, “talking” to she wanted to post a story because she wanted some of her friends to see what she was doing but she did not want the other guys that she was talking to see her story. So she decided to block the guys from seeing her story in order to keep them oblivious to what she was doing.
Remediation is described as how people’s media ideologies and their idioms of practice are always connected to other people’s media ideologies and also it is connected to their use of other forms of social media. Snapchat has combined several different medias into one. On Snapchat you can now video chat which is very similar to FaceTime, you can text, which is very similar to texting, Facebook messenger, Instagram messaging, Twitter direct messaging and Tinder messaging. I think of most of the social media websites Snapchat is one of the most inappropriate forms of social media to break up with someone. Snapchat is extremely informal. Although, most forms of social media are informal. Snapchat is not usually used for long, intense conversations. I strongly believe that no breakup should occur over social media. It should occur either with a face to face interaction or over the phone, or possibly even a text message at the very least. I do not have any stories of individuals getting dumped over Snapchat because I do not think it occurs that often, at least I hope. You would really have to not care about that individual if you are breaking up with them over Snapchat. I do think arguments can occur because of things seen on Snapchat, which can often lead to breakups. According to another article on Snapchat, Snapchat is one of the most common sites where cyber bullying occurs, (Snapchat’s Breach of Trust). Also, when Snapchat was originally created people thought that a lot of sexting occurred while using the app, which very well could have been true. Everyone always says, what is put on the internet stays on the internet. But is that the case for Snapchat? A lot of questions always arise when discussing Snapchat. Where exactly do all of the photos go?
Second order information is information on a social media site that can often be taken in several different ways, or information that has you wanting more information. For example, stories can often have people wanting more information. “A Snapchat story is a photo or video you post to your very own stories section (or feed) of your account, which is visible by you and all your friends,” (Moreau). I recently saw on a story on Snapchat that had an image of ice cream and the caption was, “ice cream makes everything better.” After seeing this story, you instantly think can make what better? What is going on in that persons life that she needs ice cream to “make everything better.” Later to find out that her story was referencing to her recent breakup. But I never would have known that if I did not know the person on a personal level, where I could ask her what was wrong.
Public in general is a term is whoever can see what is going on, or whoever is apart of what may be going on. Snapchats can often be sent to one person, or they can be mass snaps which are sent to multiple people. Also, people can post stories which then that Snapchat can be viewed by friends on Snapchat as many times as they want. So, the public of the social media app Snapchat is all of your friends. . . until one of your friends screenshots one of your Snapchats. Then the public becomes way larger than just your friends that you have on Snapchat. Because of the ability to screenshot Snapchats, the public of Snapchat has became a lot larger. When you Snapchat one of your friends, you are potentially sending out a picture that could go viral. Most photos do not, but you never know what could happen. While, researching for this article I found information that I did not know prior. According to an article that I found regarding Snapchat you are able to go “public” on Snapchat which, “allows everyone to be able to view your story even if you haven’t accepted them as friends,” (How to Go Public on Snapchat). Because of this feature it allows your public to expand within the Snapchat world. Another factor behinds Snapchat public is that whenever you are out in public you have the chance of appearing on someone else’s Snapchat, which often occurs. Overall, the public is a major factor of the social media site Snapchat.
- HOW TO GO “PUBLIC” ON SNAPCHAT. (2015). Retrieved December 06, 2016, from http://www.alexbeadon.com/2015/06/17/how-to-go-public-on-snapchat
- Gershon, I. (2010). The breakup 2.0: Disconnecting over new media. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
- Coalo, J. (2014, January 20). Forbes. The Inside Story Of Snapchat: The World’s Hottest App Or A $3 Billion Disappearing Act?. Retrieved December 6, 2014, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jjcolao/2014/01/06/the-inside-story-of-snapchat-the-worlds-hottest-app-or-a-3-billion-disappearing-act/#54cc810d55ec
- Moreau, Elise. Here’s What You Need to Know About Posting Stories on Snapchat. Retrieved December 06, 2016, from https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-a-snapchat-story-3486000
- Ideology. (n.d.). Retrieved December 06, 2016, from http://media-studies.tki.org.nz/Teaching-media-studies/Media-concepts/Ideology
- Singh, K. (2014, August 13). Mashable. 9 Snapchat Tips and Tricks You May Not Know About. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2014/08/13/snapchat-tips-and-tricks/#iFqansrt5kqs
- Snapchat and Ideology of Communication. (2014). Retrieved December 06, 2016, from https://liamorr91.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/snapchat-and-ideology-of-communication-2/
- Snapchat’s breach of trust: What’s the big deal? Retrieved December 06, 2016, from http://www.itbusiness.ca/blog/snapchats-breach-of-trust-whats-the-big-deal/45875
- Snapchat. (n.d.). Retrieved December 06, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snapchat