7:00 in the morning; “breakfast with the fam.” 8:00 in the morning; “class time ugh,” 10:30 in the morning; “waiting for bae,” 12:00 in the afternoon; lunch with bae,” and the list continues. Through every social media app people post their statuses almost every hour and all of this person’s followers are forced to look at these statuses. We try so hard to fit in with the crowd that we sacrifice our own solitude. I mean lets face it, “How many of us enjoy putting these statuses up every hour?” We do it for likes so we gain popularity so we can be like the rest of the people. With this being said, people tend to crave the idea of seclusion. Due to this, intimacy and privacy are one of the most important aspects of social media since sites such as Instagram and Snapchat are on a rise. I believe Snapchat is becoming more and more prevalent because of its intimacy and audience whereas, Instagram remains more conserved and has a more critical audience. This is due to a number of reasons.
As most of us are aware, Snapchat is a social media site that is slowly increasing in popularity. Why, you may ask? This application achieves the goal that not many apps are capable of. With the use of Snapchat, one can easily express themselves, whereas on other sites such as Instagram a person must pinpoint themselves toward perfection. Many people including 19-year old blogger Andrew Watts may agree with me that Snapchat users have more of a comfort zone when it comings to taking and posting pictures. Watts states in his article, “A Teenager’s View on Social Media:
“On Instagram you choose the cutest one of the bunch to post to your network. Snapchat is where we can really be ourselves while being attached to our social identity. Without the constant social pressure of a follower count or Facebook friends. I am not constantly having these random people shoved in front of me. Instead, Snapchat is a somewhat intimate network of friends who I don’t care if they see me at a party having fun” (Watts).
Watts summarizes Snapchat and Instagram in a nutshell. Being both a Snapchat and Instagram user, I completely agree with Watts. While using Instagram a person worries about the likes they’re going to get and how the picture will look using the best filter, but when a person uses Snapchat likes are nothing but a number and a person can freely send a picture to whoever they please.
A few thoughts arise as reading this section in Watts article. First one may think, what did Watts mean when he stated, “I am not constantly having these random people shoved in front of me.” Are these people random due to the fact that there are more strangers on social media sites such as Instagram than on Snapchat as your friends? Snapchat a social media account where individuals are more open and have a more personal outlook, therefore it would make more sense not to have random people added. One may also consider by “random people” Watts meant that humans’ use of filters on Instagram have reached a point where they look more different than they do in reality. Thus, making them look like complete strangers, or as “random people.”
Are the pictures these people posting on Instagram how they really look? Is posting these pictures resulting in a lack of people expressing their identities?If not, why are these people posting these “false” pictures? Perhaps, due to pressure from how others act on social media? The thought of these questions bring forth phrases such as “social identity” and “social pressure.” As frequent social media users, we tend to loose touch with our identity, but with Snapchat the case is different. According to Watts, “Snapchat is where we can really be ourselves while being attached to our social identity.” Watts is stating due to social media accounts, such as Instagram humans have lack of confidence and loose touch with their identity. They post the “best” pictures in the “best” places and loose sight of who they really are. A majority of humans who consistently use social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and more can easily argue that on social media sites other than Snapchat people tend to choose their best pictures to upload. On Instagram, despite people choosing their best pictures, the help of filters are involved permitting people to look milestones better than actuality.
When Snapchat first came out, I myself would use it frequently. With having my closest friends added and no boundaries, I had the tendency to be as open as I pleased. For me this meant, pictures of me looking quite unusual with my funny faces and weird fifteen-second videos. However, on the other social media account I have known as Instagram, my picture choice were entirely different. There I would take a good one hour deciding what picture to post, what filter to use, and then at the end second questioning myself whether or not to post the picture up. On Snapchat we are closer to our “social identity” as Watts would say because there is more honesty in the posts we snap rather than other social media works. I believe this is because on Snapchat people get to choose who they want to send their pictures to and who they do not want to. Then there is also the send to all option also known as, “My Story” function.
With all these social media sites there is always that one main factor which is “social pressure.” Individuals worldwide go through the stage of social pressure. In fact social pressure is something that comes along with every picture a person posts. Snapchat is one rare social media site where there is no social pressure involved. With recent social sites such as Instagram, Facebook or older sites such as MySpace social pressure consists. People are worked up with how many likes and/or comments they will receive with every picture they post. If the picture a person posts does not get enough likes then it will most likely be deleted within three to five minutes. With Snapchat no one has to worry about likes or comments or even what people think. There is a certain comfort level on Snapchat where a person can post pictures freely. In Snapchat people can send pictures to whoever they want. Most people send their crazy pictures to close friends and family members easily with no regrets. Snapchat is also one of the very few social media sites that allows people to post pictures and not be judged. With a time limit of only ten seconds or less being allowed for each picture sent to a person increases one’s self esteem and boosts an individual’s confidence. There is no need to delete pictures as done on Instagram. The pictures on Instagram are there to stay, unless of course deleted. However, on Snapchat a picture taken cannot be there to keep. Even on the “My Story” function the maximum amount a picture stays is twenty-four hours and is no longer available after that time course.
Instagram and Snapchat being poles apart may also be because of the expectations and reactions one may consider when having these social media accounts. On Instagram people expect others to like their picture and feel a certain way. Humans boast through their usage of Instagram by posting pictures that others want to see. These feelings may include: “Oh man I wish I was there!”, “Ahh he/she looks so pretty.”, “Damn they’re so lucky”, and so on. Instagram is a way humans can show off, gain sympathy, and of course gain fans by increasing their number of followers. On the other hand, Snapchat varies. Peoples’ expectations and reactions completely differ. When a person gets a “snap” from his/her friend, one already starts thinking to themselves, “Oh god should I walk away from my parents and open this?”, “Should I put headphones on?”, “Oh my god, I have to get ready to screenshot this!” and so on. Snapchat connects humans with one another rather than showing a false side of them. Snapchat allows humans to see the real side of who they are sending snaps to and receiving snaps from. Due to societal expectations from Instagram, one is forced to act a way they are not. Filters and our so called “perfect pictures” is not how we look on a daily basis, but it is what is perceived from Instagram. With this being said, Snapchat surpasses in the perspectives of individuals rather than Instagram. Snapchat can easily be used, while being fun at the same time, unlike Instagram where people are pressurized about what others think.
Watts, Andrew. “A Teenager’s View on Social Media.” Web log post. Medium. N.p., 03 Jan. 2015. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.