One of my best friends and I had been Snapchatting each other for more than 600 consecutive days. It happened on November 24, 2017. I had sent her a selfie with some crazy face filter in the morning, but by the afternoon, the fire emoji for our streak next to her name had disappeared. I didn’t think much of it at first because for the past couple weeks, Snapchat had been glitchy and the fire emoji would come and go. But when it hadn’t returned by the next day, I knew we had officially lost our streak.
My best friend and I had promised each other that we would never break out Snapchat streak, even joking that the day it broke would be the day we broke off the friendship. But when I realized we had lost the streak, I didn’t experience any feelings of dismay, anger, or even a slight tinge of sadness because the streak did not determine our friendship. It was Black Friday and my friend was working insane hours at her retail job all day. Her main priority was finding time to sleep, not reply to my snap, as it should be.
Photo from Snapchat/Mia Doyle
We originally started building a streak two years ago when she started college and I was still in high school, several states apart. It was just a way that we could see each other every day. Even if I had had a busy day, I could always count on seeing my best friend’s lovely dog-filtered face. We didn’t have to talk every day to still be besties. Sending a Snapchat to each other just served as a nice reminder that we were thinking about each other.
In today’s society, some millennials feed off of how many Snapchat streaks they have as if the more streaks you have, the more popular you are. People like to feel like they’re wanted and loved, and streaks can make someone feel just like that. If someone took 5 seconds out of their day to send you a terrible selfie, they must truly care about you, right?
I myself have fallen victim to this way of thought. It has gotten to the point where I’ve had to ask myself when the last time I had actually talked to or even texted a person I Snapped was. If I have to contemplate whether or not we’re even friends, then maybe I shouldn’t be trying to keep up our streak.
Because of this, I now think differently about Snapchat and my streaks. Yes, it’s fun to see how high you can get a streak with your friend, but a number next to a fire emoji shouldn’t be the only thing you have going in a friendship. If I send a Snapchat to a friend, it means that I genuinely want them to know I’m thinking about them that day.
I also like to make sure that Snapchat is not the only way I communicate with my friends because it shouldn’t be. I could Snapchat a person every day and not know what was going on in their life. Now I try to put actual effort into the friendship by texting, calling, and FaceTiming them as much as I can. A little fire emoji on an app should not be the reason you’re friends with someone. Snapchat streaks should be supplementary to a friendship, not a determining factor.
Cover Photo from snapchat.com