Towards the ending of the semester we read a book called “The Break-up 2.0″, written by Ilana Gershon. This book gave real life examples of the non-verbal communication used today to create and breakup relationships via social media. The book is around six years old which is actually pretty out dated for the new social media accounts out there. Although it is dated, the instances that were chose to be examples are relevant. Gershon mainly focuses on Facebook through out the book and today that is not the most common social media used for relationships.
Of the many social media sites that are used by millions every day one in particular sticks out to me to be the most fitting, snap chat. Snap chat has become a very popular social media used today by all ages. The easy access app is allowing people to communicate with people fast, easy, and without a trace. It is used to start relationships, break-up relationships, and even cheat. Snap chat was created to share pictures with other people in the moment that would be deleted directly after opening it. Unlike face book, instagram, or twitter; snapchat has allowed relationships to be confidential and risky. I have heard horror stories of snap chat and love stories, although not to many.
An ideology is a set of beliefs that a person holds to be important and true. Media ideologies are what a person thinks about a certain social media platform. The media ideology for snap chat is a place where a person can send messages, pictures, and videos to another person to be discreet and secretive. Snap chat is known to be kind of a scandalous way to communicate with another person, especially if they are doing so with another person while in a relationship. Although a lot of people use snap chat to just strictly talk to friends, it will more than likely evolve into more than just that. The way the conversations and pictures disappear pressure you into thinking how easy it would be to cheat because your partner would never know the full conversation. While listening observing a friend of mine Haley, I will use pseudonyms to keep this confidential, I watched snap chat ruin her relationship. Haley and her boy friend Mark were already having problems with their relationship that would leave Haley feeling alone and hatred towards Mark. Mark was not showing affection to Haley, so she went out looking for attention elsewhere. She knew she definitely could not use texting or Facebook messenger because her boyfriend could potentially read the conversations. Knowing she did not want Mark to know, it landed her on snap chat. She began snap chatting other guys while not around Mark. Mark began to catch on through the non verbal actions she was portraying. For example, instead of leaving her phone sit somewhere while she got up, she would take in absolutely everywhere with her. Haley’s boyfriend eventually saw the names of guys via the notifications popping up on her screen and she just flat out told him that she was using it to get attention from other guys. Even though they broke up, she still uses this social media to talk to several guys.
Idioms of Practice:
An Idiom is group of words established by not having a direct meaning to the saying that is being said. An example of an idiom of practice used on snap chat is when say, my friends John will post a blank snap on his story with a text along the lines of ” I just can’t do it anymore…”. With no other context of this snap sent at 3:30 AM, it leaving his snap chat friends, including me, worried. Although I never respond back and ask him what is going on, one of my other friends Allison does all the time and he usually responds with “well idk, just everything..” or “my life is just falling apart..”. He may be going through a rough time in his life but he likes to take advantage of the attention he gets from posting those snap stories. And since snap chat deletes them after 24 hours, he can post more and more just leaving people wondering and worrying. Another example that I see quite a bit is a snap video of a car radio playing a sad breakup song or just in general a depressing song, with a text written across it like ” Why?” or “Mood right now”. Knowing that these snap chats having meaning behind them that I will not bother to ask, is very frustrating in its self. I myself have recently posted something along the lines of that, me and my boy friend of five years are going through a really rough time. So because he was ignoring me but I know he would look at my snap story, I posted a video with some sappy relevant lyrics and typed across ” I hope that you’re seeing this”. After I saw he viewed it Immediately took it down, I just really wanted him to see my frustration.
Structure of the Medium:
The structure of medium with snap chat is a little harder than say adding a friend on facebook or following someone on instagram. Because snap chat would be considered “scandalous” it is a lot harder to just add someone you want on there. You either have to ask for their username or the code that is associated with their account. The app is used to strictly talk to one person via media. You can send group snap chats out but in all reality it is used to talk to one person whether that be sending hilarious cat videos, embarrassing pictures of yourself, or sending more scandalous things. So you become mindful of who you add on snap chat, only add the people whom you would not feel embarrassed if they saw the idiotic snap post you added to your story. A friend of mine Elizabeth recently shared with me that her boyfriend was being untrustworthy and sketchy. When he said he was going out with “the boys” to have a few drinks at a small bar but she had a hard time believing him. He was ignoring her and not replying back to any type of message so she got on her snap chat and saw one of his “boys” posted a video of her boyfriend all over another girl in the background. This eventually led to their break up, but you have to be mindful that even if he did not directly upload it to his story, someone else just might.
Snap chat will always be used as a intimate and scandalous app, but some people try not to view it like that. A very good friend of mine used to use snap chat to communicate with a few guys casually and even though she had no intentions of becoming intimate and sexualizing the conversations; they led to just that. The overall atmosphere and vibe of snap chat just made her want to start doing just so and now thats exactly what she uses snap chat for. She strictly texts or uses facebook messenger to message guy friends whom she does not want to eventually hook up with or what have you. There is less of a secret behind messenger and facebook because you can easily access it and read the messages.
Second Order Information:
There are many ways that snap chat can relay second order information. For example a girl that I work with named Amy had called off a few hours prior to her shift claiming that she was very sick laid up in bed, so we took the call and that was that. Well one of my co-workers has her added on her snap chat and had seen a picture she had posted just 10 minutes ago at bar with the caption “much needed girls night”. The girl who found it took it to our director and showed her the picture along with several others that she had been posting within a few minutes. This mistake of posting it all over her snap chat actually got her fired from her job because she continued to lie about it. Another example is how it can affect a relationship. A friend of mine and his girl friend were taking a little time apart, and through this time apart his girl friend said that she was going to turn of her phone and take time to herself, which he believed because she had not been on facebook, instagram, or twitter in weeks. She was also ignoring his texts that he had been trying to send her. Well he decided to post a snap on his story, which immediately after he had posted it she had viewed it. And because it had been a week in a half of him trying to get ahold of her he instantly got pissed and snaped her directly telling her that they were breaking up.
What is the Public?:
What is made public on snap chat is only what you choose to put on your story. This is very different from other typed of social media because on others you have a whole profile dedicated to you. On snap chat you cannot view others friends, or what they are watching. The only thing that is made public is what you chose to put on your story, your username, and “snap score”. Snap chat is definitely more secretive and private all around, the only people that can see what you post are the people you have trusted to add onto your snap chat. You get to chose whom you share your snap chats with and what some people get to see over other people. Each social media has types of people you add, and snap chat is one for close friends or people you are “talking” to.