Why I Hate Snapchat

There are about 99 problems with it

06.10.16

Let’s start with a strong statement: I fucking hate Snapchat (and yes, the ‘fucking’ is necessary.)

Let me tell you why.

I abhor the way the app allows you to mess with your appearance, so that people can legitimately claim they “don’t take themselves too seriously” because they got a rainbow to shoot out of their lips, or bunny ears to spring out of their head. Yes, Victoria’s Secret angels, I’m looking at you. Supermodels are not the only (or even the worst) perpetrators, though. I’ve never seen anything more overwrought than a faux-sexy video of a British reality TV starlet lying in the bath, as the shower pulses onto her extendable ‘doggy’ tongue, latterly spilling out and down over her breasts. Why are the only Snapchat filters people post those which are cute ‘n cuddly? Why can’t you make a video where a stream of emoji turds flow forth from your mouth? Translation, of course: I speak fluent bullshit.

More than that, though, I hate that there is even a reason for Snapchat to exist. “My lunch at the Polo Lounge today” might read the beginning of an Instagram caption. “See more on Snapchat!” More? MORE? One picture of your lunch wasn’t enough?

Popular culture is peddling the ruse that Snapchat exists to document the BTS moments. Like Instagram is too glossy for your funny moments to exist in permanence. Too ugly! Ewww. Too blurry! Ewwww. You are either polished or funny and ne’er those states shall cross. (To which I say, captions allow you to be both and if you don’t dream in captions, then we can’t be friends.)

I have been on trips with fellow journalists, sitting with my hands folded whilst their iPhones dip and soar across the topography of a table/sculpture/hotel for what feels like days. But — dare I say it — some moments don’t need to be recorded for posterity.

DID THE TRUMAN SHOW NOT SCARE YOU GUYS?

I struggle with the one-sidedness of Snapchat. The transience which allows for such thoughtless vapidity. (You have to consider things a little more before releasing anything into the other social media ethers.) Snapchat is not an interactive forum; there is no comment section for discussion. Instead, this solo slide-show of sorts triumphs.

The only time I have come close to appreciating Snapchat’s vanities is when I was peak alcohol, recently, at a friend’s bachelorette party. “Do you have Snapchat?” she said. “I fucking hate Snapchat,” I replied, because I am nothing if not consistent. I was also shocked. This was a friend whose only concession to social media is Instagram and even on that, she is lackadaisical. Her husband enforces a ‘one photo per holiday’ rule which already sets us leagues apart. What was she doing on Snapchat, of all things?

But then we went through the filters. I quickly found that when you’re five espresso martinis down, face distortion is a scream. I have always loved face distortion: nothing tickles me more than teeny tiny pinchy lips, rabbity eyes with wiggly brows and gigantic swollen cheeks.

OK, I conceded, this is quite fun. Everyone’s allowed to flirt with their dark side — like the nicotine refusenik gulping down a tar stick on a fire escape one bad New Year too many. Luckily, I was too drunk to download the app on to my phone. The next morning, I woke up and breathed an actual-not-metaphorical sigh of relief. I’m safe from the rainbows for one more day.

Pandora is the Fashion Features Editor & Wardrobe Mistress at The Sunday Times Style. Follow her on Twitter @pinsykes and Instagram @pandorasykes.

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  • Aydan

    I feel the same way about snap chat!! I hate it one moment and then I’m having a bit of fun and next thing I know I love it!! But still instagram is for sure my fave social media by far!

  • Ellie

    I enjoy watching MRs snapstories because you guys show a little insight into what you do on the daily (and give us sneak peeks of beautiful shows with brilliant capitions by Leandra) but I could not agree more with the argument that not everything has to be photographed and shared on loop – particularly, as you point out, that there’s no feedback or interactivity!

  • I was never able to get in to snapchat. If I’m in a funny, ‘snapchat-worthy’ situation I’d rather just live it than whip out my phone and record it. I never even use instagram instantly, I’d rather enjoy the moment and post a picture on my down time.

  • stefanie schoen

    I’m also a little mixed on snapchat. I sew a lot and do lots of DIY projects and I think snapchat is a cool way to show my progress, and my dad and I share funny photos back and forth which is hilarious because my dad is 71! But I don’t feel it necessary to talk into the camera on my daily musings or watch other people ramble on about nothing. However, all I keep reading is that it’s the next thing and we should jump on and be active before it gets huge. Which frustrates me because it trivializes everything else we have already built. So instead of a blog, or Facebook, or twitter, or now instagram with its damn ALGORITHM, now I have to throw that away for another social media platform. I’m getting sick of it. In the ‘real world’ you don’t change careers every 2 years because you don’t become great at anything, why as an ‘influencer’ (however small I might be) do I need to change platforms at the same rate?

  • cuffers27

    I just often find watching other people’s snapchats are soooooooooo boring. No one wants to see 15 videos of you and your friends drunk singing in the back of a taxi.

    • Yuan415

      Yes, the app makes the mundane seem extraordinary because it’s on a screen and your life is the center of it all. You’re famous in this little app world of yours. Anyone who admits: “I fucking hate snapchat” I immediately will bond with.

    • Alex Barringer

      The vast majority of people who use Snapchat are bored, same with the viewers of such.

  • I downloaded snapchat for the sole purpose of following Glossier and Man Repeller. And Alexa Chung, actually. Other than that, I really don’t get the point and I found the user experience really frustrating. I (a millennial, for context) couldn’t figure out how to add people. Someone had to help me.

    I maintain a loyal relationship to instagram. Still the best social media outlet there is. I also don’t have facebook, though. So maybe I’m not the target demographic.

    • I like Alexa Chung but her snapchat is boring, don’t you think? hehe

      • That is, unfortunately, very true. Most often than not they’re not that interesting. But I think that just shows that not everything people produce on social media is super curated, perfectly funny, and interesting. That’s life! lol

  • Pia Hocevar Mucic

    It’s been time that someone said that! I hate Snapchat too! When I go to lunch with my friend they don’t just make one photo, they are on the phone the entire time taking photos of random stuff and posting random photos that aren’t even pretty nor interesting, like floors for example!
    Fash ‘n’ fudge
    Fash ‘n’ fudge

  • I loooove snapchat, but actually use it as a more convenient way to send photos and text people. Lots of my friends live across the border and I don’t have an international texting plan! Also, I like that you can caption the photos and can’t fuck up which caption goes where. And you can send the same relevant photos to like 5 people easily. ALSO, it doesn’t store images in your phone like text conversations do! So because of all this, it’s my favourite way to ‘hang out’ with people who I can’t physically be with.

  • Alina Kim

    All good points.

    Might I also add that it’s horrible when people post a selfie and then a caption that has absolutely nothing to do with the selfie. Example: heavily-edited selfie with flower crown or other beautifying rather than terrifying snapchat filter, captioned “can’t wait for summer!” Girl, what does anticipating summer have to do with your sparrow face. I can’t even.

    • Saddiecool

      When you live away from your friends and family.. Snap is a refreshing realtime app that lets you quickly communicate back and forth in either a very real (filter free) way or in a fun animated way. I find it unleashes more of your personality, there is no record or timeline.. In fact … It’s a lot more like real life as the ‘snaps’ are like memory’s .. They are temporary.

  • #GoBuyUnbreakable

    This is single-handedly one of the most angriest article I’ve ever read about such a small juvenile thing,??? Just don’t use it?? It is just an app, that you don’t have to download and no one is forcing you to take part in??. I can’t stand people who are always such negative sallys because something is mainstream and popular, get a grip.

    • Joe Green

      Lol, it’s her article. Sit down.

  • Test

    What is BTS?

    • Olivia AP

      Behind the scenes 🙂

  • BK

    Most of my friends blocked me on snapchat when all I ever posted (snapped? Oh fuck, I don’t care) were photos of firewood, I don’t think I ever used it right

  • Olivia AP

    I also hate snapchat but I also fucking hate selfies… From all forms of social media I find snapchat the most narcissistic.
    Unless you are someone very interesting I couldn’t care less about your videos. I feel that app is used to perpetuate fomo or doing things with the only purpose to put them on social media.

    • Alex Barringer

      Doing a selfie isn’t so bad if you do it once in awhile and it’s for professional use or to mark a significant change in your appearance. For example, to date, I’ve only done two selfies from whole time I’ve been online. Been online since 1992, mind you.

      Well, everyone around the world, including me and you are, in fact, narcissistic, you can’t escape that fact. Whether or not it you or I or someone else scores high on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (a test to see where a person falls on the Narcissistic Scale. The higher the score, the more likely a person will have malignant narcissism or at the far upper end of the scale, people land in the Narcissistic Personality Disorder range.

      The vast majority of people I encounter online that selfie to high hell aren’t malignant narcissists, they’re egoists / egotistical, some are comorbid with meglomania (control freaks, to the extreme) or are lonely and have never learned how to actually gain friends.

      While it is true, there are malignant narcissists out there, they’re not as common as you think. While the malignant traits are on the rise, they still have yet to hit fever pitch. Most people that post stupid stuff are bored off their ass, they don’t put a lot of thought into it, which depending on the individual personality traits can come off as malignant.

      The vast majority of malignant narcissists, NPDs, sociopaths and psychopaths online are very charming people. Of course, this is part of their ruse to reel you in.

      Egotistical people don’t have this charm, they’re just a-holes all the time. That’s how you can tell the different between the two.

  • Kelly M

    OMG YES I am sending this to everyone I know who asks me to re-download the app. My friend will always say, “you missed my hilarious snap this morning” and I’m like you could’ve just texted it to me..

  • Kelly

    Amen sister! I had it for a second and quickly got very bored of all the crap people would send me.

  • Lisa

    i am not a snapchat user. i barely do facebook and instagram. maybe it’s because i’m in my 50’s and a single mom–i feel i don’t have time for it. my daughters use it all the time and sometimes they are laughing at a picture and i wonder why i didn’t see it–well, it was a snapchat. haha. my funniest story about snapchat is that i teach high school and one of my students had been absent for a week–and another student in class asked if i knew where he was–and immediately i replied to the class “that when i snapchatted him this morning he said he was ill.” the entire class was heavily thrown into an uproar because A) they thought i really did have a snapchat account and wanted my username and B) that i had actually snapchatted with a student. it made me giggle.

    • _lauristia

      It’s not your age, trust me I’m 25

  • Yes, most of the post on snapchat are boring, people are not very creative, or, at least, funny. I like people who share opinions, noticed funny things, show their looks (interesting).

  • Magical Unicorn

    I got Snapchat in order to follow a few celebrities and see what the fuss was about (also because I’m getting into social media marketing & strategy), and honestly.. while I get it, I find it incredibly boring. I just watched one celeb post a pic of their dinner, and another like 3 mins of them with dumb filters on that do nothing and that they apparently find hilarious. Eh.
    Still on the lookout for actual, interesting accounts.

    • Joe Green

      *lookout search continues*

  • The utilisation of snapchat is not automatic. I found it hard but I love it…

  • i have no snapchat and quit instagram. somehow i think it has done good things for me 😛 like not being so self-obsessed.

  • Noni

    There is an art to snap chat, not many have mastered it. It probably has to do with the no feedback system. If you knew how much people hate your car singalongs you might find more interesting ish to post…

  • I like the snaps that are literally BTS stuff, or funny bits/sketches

    I don’t like the ones that are just you with the flower crown filter staring at yourself and I’m staring at you while you stare at yourself that was only fun once

    I don’t like clubbing snap chats I can’t hear anything and they all start to look the same

    I don’t like the snap chats that are just a shot of your feet while you’re walking

    I don’t like the snap chats where it’s just your dog staring into space if he is only medium cute

    I feel like Snapchat would eventually become more curated (just like instagram) for the reasons above–after a while as more and more people use it no one’s gonna have the patience for a blurry panoramic spin around the room. Even if there’s no evidence in the feed of your shitty cinematography, we still had to watch it.

  • Thank you… so much… for writing this. People treat me like an 80 yr old for refusing to sign up for Snapchat (I’m 25), but do we really fucking need another pointless, narcissistic, useless platform to share the mindless things that we do throughout the day? READ A BOOK DAMMIT. <3

  • Timothy Ward

    Finally someone who shares my despise for snapchat.

  • Haha agreed! I can’t understand its purpose as an “open” social media. I mean, I don’t really want to know every little detail of someone else’s life. It can be much more intrusive than others too. However, I think that like other social media you can find a balance in the way you use it. Personally, I only have a few contacts and mostly watch the snaps of my friend who lives abroad and is sending me snaps from her medical classes or my sister who wants to send (only to me) something she found in a bookstore. I guess we just enjoy it as a way to send images that we don’t care about keeping…

  • Peter

    I believe you have failed to consider the primary benefit of Snapchat, which is to safely send photos or videos of your naked body parts to other assenting Snapchat users knowing that these photos will disappear forever after they have been enjoyed by the recipient for no more than ten seconds.

    Also a handy way to superimpose your own extremely clever narrative/artwork over whatever you may happen to see throughout your day.

    • Alex Barringer

      Actually, there is a way to capture the stream and snag the videos, pictures and audio. So, no, this isn’t valid anymore.

    • Modotti

      and then they do the intelligent thing which is to take an instant screenshot of their phone while your nude body graces their screen. Immortalizing that picture for all time to be shared with their friends and the world after you’ve spurned them.

      Snapchat does not protect your nude body from the eyes of the internet. If you truly haven’t figured that out then you haven’t been paying attention.

      • Joe Green

        It’s funny how he said primary benefit. Like staying close to your friends and family states away isn’t the primary, nudes are lol. Someone should stay off Snapchat and learn a hookup type app. 😂

    • Mettā

      bullshit.

  • lilacfloats

    I liked Snapchat back when it first came out. Then I thought about the fact that there were photos floating about that I couldn’t get back. No thanks!

  • Eva Rinaldi

    I hate posting snaps but I kind of like the news section. I never turn on snapchat when something interesting happens after years of having a camera button shortcut so then I can’t upload photos to it. I’m not taking a second photo of the same thing just for an app.

  • Aggie

    Not all Snapchats are boring, I found Yvan Rodic’s account very entertaining, he uses it to interview people and share thoughts on the culture of the countries he visits, it’s like mini documentaries!

  • Emily

    Snapchat is beyond lame. I’m still convinced that it was created so that teens could share naked pics with no permanent trail.

    • Krista Anna Lewis

      Wait, I thought that was their official launch pitch…?

    • Amnesia Haze

      Except that they keep the damn photos so it’s a moot point, teens aren’t the brightest when it comes to common sense.

  • Susana

    God that dog filter….. ? ?
    I do love the face distortion ones, but I’m sick of seeing the dog filter.

  • _lauristia

    I fucking hate Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Whisper, and any other app besides FB and Whatsapp, which I use them only for communication with family and close friends.
    I just think privacy is a treasure now.

    • anoynamouse

      Really…Instagram and Twitter? It’s hard to take anyone seriously who is still on FB but hates on Instagram.

  • Romina G. Jahn

    I just don’t understand Snapchat nowadays. I used to have it but suddenly everybody was uploading slutty pictures and asking for nudes and always trying to look cute. I think SC started as something funny and laughable and quickly became some sort of catalogue of what you can get if you respond the flirtation offered. It has become boring, dull and somehow not empowering enough. It’s all “look at me, I’m cute, I want the spotlight”. (sorry for my bad english 🙂 )

  • Abby Evans

    It’s so nice to know that someone else doesn’t like Snapchat. My friends are always questioning me, but I just absolutely hate it! Thanks for not making me feel alone!

    http://www.youarebeaut.blogspot.com/

  • Ellery

    I don’t see how snapchat is inferior or superior in any way to instagram. If you post endless selfies on the latter, then sneering at people who post endless selfies on the former is somewhat hypocritical and lacking in self awareness.

  • Lucy Korn

    I agree. Nine times out of ten Snapchat is so so boring, BUT there are some gems to be found. For example Kelly Oxford and Girl With No Job, these a gem snap accounts. Also MR but that goes without saying.

  • Alex Barringer

    I don’t think it’s so much that Snapchat is the problem, it’s the vacuous people that use it, that’s the real problem. If it’s not Snapchat, it will be another service that pops up that you’ll hate. The people that can’t hold an intelligent conversation for long, if at all, dictate what types of apps become popular. What filters and additions are put into said apps. You have to remember that these vacuous ones are in the majority not people like you, me and many other intelligent people reading this blog.

    Snapchat would be fine to prove who you are, for example if you’re going to date someone (not that it matters to me, I’m aromantic, therefore, I don’t date) but there are a couple more things I can think of that would make good use of said app technology without the childish filters with animations.

    Instead of complaining about it in a blog post, write your own app that does something constructive for the more intellectual crowd.

  • PradeepA

    “DID THE TRUMAN SHOW NOT SCARE YOU GUYS?”

    The people with whom SnapChat is most popular probably weren’t born when that movie came out.

  • JTravianDTeriusJacksonIII

    I was just hoping to see her totally naked.

  • Mettā

    It’s the most retarded, lame thing on this planet. I hate when people act like i am obliged to have a snapchat account. Total waste of life.

  • Joe Green

    This article is 15x more interesting than any “article” pushed on Snapchat. Constant basketball dweebs, emoji and phone “news” makes for a worse news source than Buzzfeed..

  • KV

    Finally. Glad I’m not the only one who detests Snapchat. But hey, narcissism is our generation’s best quality, right? *laughs nervously*

  • Arianna Spencer

    Even though I use it everyday Snapchat still makes me hate it because the timer is gone, the new color palette sucks, you can’t use the font you set on your phone on there( that’s happening to me rn), half of my stickers are missing when I didn’t delete them myself, they don’t give you the option to set a Bitmoji as your selfie or not, they just take it upon themselves to just set your Bitmoji as your selfie when they should have given an option, and yeah this is everything I find reasons to hate it now. It has very few cool things now and that’s sad. 😧

  • Arianna Spencer

    Quick update:Snapchat restored all my stickers, but the other issues are still the reason I hate about it

  • Jeanne Le Bailly

    Oh thank you.. I am not the only one who despise snapchat.. I find it completely useless and ridiculous to disguise yourself.. Mainly for people who has absolutely nothing else to do than trying to grab attention, pretending to be someone or something else. Never has been able to put my head around snap-sh*t to be honest. Something for kids but seeing adults going into it, it’s very depressing to see..

  • synapticflow

    Like everything that is run in the ground, it just gets annoying as hell after a while. And we have just as much right to be sick of it as those who do it have a right to continue being annoying.