Friday, November 18, 2016

Hooked on Snapchat

Illustration by Alekya Raghavan

Juliana Discher | Staff Writer
For some Snapchat users, maintaining that 100 day Snapstreak is worth giving a friend your account sign-in or even paying a person to help keep the streak.
Since its release in September 2011, Snapchat has constantly been evolving to keep users engaged. The popular mobile app began with allowing users to send pictures and videos for a set period of time but now has a variety of additional features. The inclusion of filters and memories have allowed users to explore the app in new ways. But one addition to the app has inspired a dedication to sending snaps in a whole new way– Snapstreaks.
Senior Josephine Waller has maintained a 523 day Snapstreak. This means Waller has sent a Snap to somebody and they have sent one back for more than 500 days. Waller said that this continuous Snapping has allowed her to stay in closer contact with her friend.
“I would probably cry if we broke our streak,” Waller said. “I send them to my friend in college. It helps me to stay in contact with her. We celebrated our one year Snapstreak anniversary–we went and got ice cream.”
In an effort to preserve Snapstreaks, while users are unable to use their phones, some people give their Snapchat log-in information to a friend to Snap in their absence. Senior Mikey Loehr first performed this when he went to a summer camp where he was not allowed to have his phone.
“A lot of kids who went to summer camp with Young Life gave their friends their log-in to keep their streaks,” Loehr said. “Now that I have my phone back, it’s routine, you wake up and Snap.”
Senior Tyler Chumney said Snapstreaks are an unnecessary ploy by Snapchat.
“It’s stupid, because Snapchat just made that feature so users will use their service more,” Chumney said. “It’s a marketing feature. People are dumb that they think it matters. People need to chill and take it less seriously. ”
Some users put in work to maintain several Snapstreaks at one time; this is true for freshman Eileen Groene.
“I have streaks with fifty different people,” Groene said. “It’s kind of hard to keep up with them. In the morning in the car I snapchat everyone and say ‘Streak’ and then continue the conversation with a select few. ”
In an AP Psychology class, students were given the assignment to stay off their phone for a week, aside from calling. Senior Gabby Tysl said many students were concerned, because they would lose their Snapstreaks.
“The thought made me sad, because I work really hard to maintain them,” Tysl said. “I have 33 streaks and my highest is 231 days. So, I am keeping them throughout the assignment because losing a streak is a very hard thing to deal with.”
Tysl said losing a Snapstreak can be an emotional experience.
“I feel disappointed because keeping a streak is entertaining and funny, so when I lose a streak, it’s frustrating,” Tysl said. “But then I usually just start it over again.”
For senior Lorna Martin, the addictive quality of Snapstreaks makes the pain of losing a streak even worse.
“I feel stressed out because I see it as a way to stay in touch with my friends and if I don’t keep my streaks up I feel like I’m losing my friendship in some way,” Martin said. “If you go without Snapchat, you lose your streaks and a lot of people take pride in them and see that as a sign of strong friendship. Being out of touch with my friends makes me feel anxious.”
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