Breaking A Social Norm: Snapchat Chat
For this project, I decided to break the norm of using snapchat chat to talk to people instead of texting or using other forms of social media. It was pretty crazy how quickly I was called out on how abnormal this was because many of my conversations began with the question, “why aren’t you texting me?”. At one point I felt uncomfortable because I ran out of excuses and felt awkward because so many people reacted. Of course I did enjoy this and continued testing out the different reactions I received. I felt like it was really hard to keep a conversation going because people really did not want to talk that long on it or they just wanted to text. If I persisted they would just try to keep texting me. The interactions I had were limited.
Approaching this method was rather easy because all that needs to be done is to swipe right on a name and start talking. It was difficult getting good screenshots because the conversation disappears randomly sometimes. When the conversation didn’t erase it was awkward taking a screenshot because then it tells the person I was screenshotting the conversation. It was very hard to be discreet that I was up to something. It took me about 5 days to get all the evidence and information that I needed. Every time I was done having a conversation I wrote down some bullet points on the emotions and reactions I got from the person and why they felt so weird. I started the conversations mostly with “Hey! How are you?” or “Hey!! I haven’t talked to you in forever how have you been?”. From there I had a conversation with the person and almost every time it did end up with the person acknowledging the fact that I was breaking a social norm.
This was the only conversation I had that was normal. I decided to snapchat chat my friend from high school. Not only did it go normally, but she even suggested coming to see me which was really nice and I ended up enjoying talking with her. The funny part about this person and why I chose them in particular is that she is always the first person I know that joins new social medias and explores different things. She is very open minded when online.
This conversation was going very well until the good old snap chat screenshot notification had to notify the person I was talking with. He was another person I knew from high school that I do not usually talk to on a regular basis. After the whole conversation was over I decided to tell him what was going on and asked him what he thought. He admitted to me he felt weird and said simply because “no one does it”.
This time I decided to see what one of my friends from school would do if I casually started a conversation with them instead of texting. She automatically knew and told me to text her. Instead of fighting it I just gave up and proceeded to text her. She came into my room about 15 minutes after this conversation and immediately mentioned the fact that I snapchatted her and that I was being weird. She thought it was really funny and did not take it seriously.
Clearly, I freaked him out. Even though the conversation looked like it went well, seconds later he decided to tweet he felt uncomfortable. I saw this about a minute after the conversation when my friend doing the same project as me looked on her twitter feed and realized he was talking about me. She screenshotted it and sent it to me.
Another Example of someone acting extremely fazed:
Again, I felt like my friend felt uncomfortable and clearly expressed that to me. It was weird because she was heavily joking with me about how ridiculous it was and I am not even that close with her. She could not even believe that I was being serious which I thought was really funny.
The main problem with snapchat chatting is that it was never really a social norm in the first place. When snapchat invented it, I myself did not like the concept of it and knew for a fact that it was going to be a failure. Just like I had this prediction, I can tell you that many others if not most people felt the same way that I did. Snapchat is as popular as it is because of the original way it was set up. Sending a 10 second picture that goes away with that possibility of an embarrassing screenshot is what attracted people to want to use it, that is the applications norm. Chatting in the application was never a reason or factor in why someone wanted to have the application. Even though it was not set up to be that way, I feel like snapchat is trying to convert into a picture, video, and texting application but its not going to be accepted in that form. The social norm of snapchat is posting funny stories and sending pictures to your friends, not using it as a texting app to ask whats up. Back to one of the examples I used, when I asked my friend why he did not want to use it his answer was “no one does it”. This was a strong statement in my opinion because that is basically what everyone thinks when they hear about snapchat chat. No one is going to use this because the invention of texting is already in place and it is very successful. Once something is reacting the point of being a norm, its hard to replace it. Snapchat chat is a failing feature in the application not because the app itself is bad, but because there’s already another app that’s better and is considered the social norm. Snapchat chat is one of those things that is just never going to be socially accepted and it will never be a norm.