Snapchat Sucks, or Does It?

Snapchat Sucks, or Does It?

I’ve never used snapchat in my life, but I thoroughly studied how the app works, the concept and why people my age are so involved in the app.

Snapchat allows you to send ‘snaps’ pictures to your friends directly or put those pictures in your story so everybody in your connections can see it for 24 hours (Similar to Instagram and WhatsApp). But it has this mischievous element that I find very interesting. It is called Snapchat ‘Streaks’ and displayed by a fire icon beside the user profile by the number of days the streak has been maintained. Basically, you keep sending snaps to one of your contacts on a daily basis and you two create a streak for sending, guess what? pictures!

Believe it or not, that’s also the reason Snapchat users will beg-borrow-steal-kill to maintain their daily streak with their friend. BUT WHY?

Maintaining the streak gives us a sense of completion, competition and friendship. Most of the users maintain this streak to show other people in their contact how close they are to their few friends and what kind of a bond they carry. They also do it to develop rivalry between not so close contacts so they would, if all goes well, be envious of the person.

But these are all facts, the reason that I’m writing this is because I find it very intriguing how far humans could go for validation, approval and dominance. We don’t even realize that we create dominance hierarchy on a daily basis between our peers, family and friends. Users will continue to protect their self-esteem and self worth (If they have any) by maintaining the streak on Snapchat just to prove a point.

We do this with everything where gamification and challenges are involved. We’re afraid to lose what we’ve created through effort and time because we’d have to start all over again. You don’t miss the streak because you like doing it, you don’t miss a streak because you know you have to start from day 1 and that would be too a tragedy. So basically, the streak is an asset to you. It means something to you, it has value.

Imagine a number of days in an app is so valuable to you–How stupid is that?

How about we put streaks and sense of completion on productive things? that would only be possible if we accept the present as it is and discard validation and 3rd party reliance from out lives. Let’s build for that.


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