I’m going to be completely honest with you. Seeing that little “100” emoji when I hit a milestone with one of my Snapchat streaks just doesn’t get me as stoked as it used to. The idea of forgetting to keep up with my Snapchat streaks once made me shiver with fear. Now I just kind of shrug at the hypothetical. Maybe I’m becoming jaded and disillusioned, or maybe my feelings are part of a larger trend.
Remember the days of asking a friend to take over your Snapchat account when you didn’t have access to your phone? Ah, the good old times. This golden age, however, feels long gone. More and more frequently, I hear fellow adolescents proclaim that they “don’t do streaks.” What’s behind this surfacing scorn for streaks?
Even way back when, not all Snapchat users were head-over-heels for the feature. This article from The Odyssey Online describes how perpetuating a streak may feel like an “obligation” or even a “chore.” To this, I agree. Snapchat holds its users accountable for using the app daily in a way other social media sites don’t. If I stop scrolling through my Instagram feed for a day or two, there will be no catastrophic repercussions. (There may arise, however, an undesirable case of FOMO.) Streaks are a genius way of making users feel more attached to the app, a development that may do us more harm than good.
If you ask me, this movement away from streaks has everything to do with image. As the Odyssey article points out, Snapchat offers “no definite user profile.” Why, then, should users spend time working to build up streaks that don’t contribute anything to how other people perceive them? Maybe users are instead realizing that their energies are better directed towards cultivating their Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or (if you’re like me) LinkedIn profiles.
This is, of course, an overwhelmingly pessimistic outlook. Unfortunately, though, we live in a painstakingly performative world. We share pictures from events because we feel that we must prove our attendance. We post birthday stories for close friends because we are afraid of what our followers will surmise if we don’t. We make clear our commitment to social justice online yet oftentimes fail to work towards these goals in our real lives (cue performative activism).
On a lighter note, maybe we’re detaching from streaks because we’re detaching from technology as a whole. Perhaps we’re learning how to live off-screen and cherishing the opportunity to exist without our devices.
As for me, I’ll keep chugging along with my Snapchat streaks. Regardless of how I really feel, 615 days is too long cast aside…right?
Photo by Thought Catalog via Unsplash
Do you actually care about your Snapchat streaks?
um, of course
not in the slightest
I don’t really care, but I have a lot of them