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Why Asking For Someone’s Snapchat Over Their Phone Number is Ridiculous

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In our day and age, people are drawn to the needs of instant gratification through social media (likes, retweets/reblogs, etc.) and the constant need to be loved or in love. It’s not uncommon for someone to ask their crush for their Snapchat username. “Oh hey, do you have a Snapchat?” is one of the most common things I hear today, whether that’s in a friendship or in the “talking” phase of a relationship. But like the title suggests, that’s freaking ridiculous and here’s why.

For starters, Snapchat isn’t a platform for REAL communication, but rather short bursts of communication through a series of pictures (or snaps, as it’s called by the platform) or through the chat feature. But think about it…have you ever really had a real conversation on Snapchat or just a “Hey, cute picture!” or a short blurb about x, y, and z on their latest story? Probably not. Maybe, and just maybe, with your best friend, but definitively not with the person you’re quote on quote “talking” too. Snapchat is more for random dick pics you never asked for or sexual images that we all know Snapchat is known for because it “disappears.”

Snapchat kills real conversation.         

Don’t fight me on this, you know it’s true.

So why are we really asking for that special someone’s Snapchat? Not for conversation, or at least not REAL conversation.

Sure, asking for someone’s Snapchat for millennials is like asking for someone’s phone number for our parents, but that doesn’t substitute for it. They are not one and the same, Snapchat and phone numbers. Like come on, we were raised on texting, so why don’t we ask for phone numbers anymore? Why is it easier to ask for someone’s Snapchat than it is for their number?

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Is it commitment? Does a phone number somehow constitute a commitment?

Is it because hookup culture is big in our generation? Does the “disappearing” picture make us bolder to show and do things we wouldn’t send over text because it’s not “forever?” I mean, just Google the word Snapchat and click on images, you’ll understand what I mean.

Well, news flash (but I bet you already knew this): you can screenshot any picture someone sends you (although it still notifies them that you did) and you can save any chat they send you too. And vice versa. The only problem is…you can’t “un-save” or “un-screenshot” what they saved and screenshot. So, doesn’t that accumulate the same risk as sending it through a text message?

So, again, why we are asking for someone’s Snapchat over their phone number?

It’s ridiculous that our generation doesn’t start with real and end with real. We start where we can avoid conversation and the other person can give us something to talk about. But their trip to Walmart to buy some toilet paper that they documented on Snapchat (because let’s be real, our generation doesn’t know when to stop documenting every moment of our ordinary lives) isn’t nearly as interesting as finding out what their dream job is and why. We’ve become obsessed with them immediately viewing the Snapchat we sent them because we can check that, whereas, on iMessage you only check if they have read receipts on and never on Android. And don’t many of us iPhone users get annoyed when people don’t have read receipts on? I do, and I’m writing this article! It’s becoming a problem.

Millennials have an obsession with instant gratification, like I said before. We’re not in anything for the long haul anymore. Not with texting or Snapchat or anything like that. We need to be everyone’s first priority when it’s convenient for us, but maybe not for them. We send them a Snapchat or maybe a text message, and instantly we’re checking our phones…it says delivered, why haven’t they read it? Oh my god, it’s been two hours, TWO HOURS, and they haven’t even read it? Are they mad? Is this the end? Oh, hell no, I’m not their best friend of Snapchat! That’s just not acceptable! They have to be cheating, because I should be number one! Admit it, we’ve all thought something along the lines of this. And it’s ridiculous! Did we ever stop to consider that they might be at work, or asleep, or doing anything under the sun beside being glued to their phone? Maybe, but we don’t care. Because, again, we have to be someone’s first priority when it’s convenient for us, not them.

And the list goes on and on in our real lives. Yeah, the one outside of our social media presence. We’re unhappy at our starter jobs because we aren’t getting paid millions of dollars or we’re not doing exactly what we got our degrees to do. We’re unhappy in our relationships because once we’re out of the “honeymoon stage” we’re bored because we’ve “settled.” We’re unhappy with the way our lives are progressing because we’re not like Taylor Swift who became famous at the age of 16, because we’re ignoring the years she worked hard to get there by 16. We’re unhappy that we have roommates until we’re 30, because we’re unhappy that we have to work a full-time job to live by ourselves (but aren't we all?). We’re unhappy about this, this and that. We’re never happy because we don’t want to put in the work to get to where we want because that’s “too hard” or that’s “a lot of work.” I admit, I fall victim to this too, and it's not just our generation. There’s a reason I don’t want to learn dining room at Panera, because you have half a store to run by yourself. There’s a reason I don’t want to be a closer at Panera, because it’s a lot more work than opening is.     

But are we really the “victims,” as I just called myself a few sentences before? Or are we the perpetrators of our own pain?

We, as a human race, no longer want to work at long-term goals because they aren’t as instantly satisfying as the short-term goals. We blame society, not ourselves. Well, to be honest, we blame everyone and everything instead of ourselves. Maybe it’s because we don’t want to admit it's our own fault, although it isn’t completely our own fault. We are as we are raised, but we must also be more than we are raised. So, ditch instant gratification, you won’t make millions doing that, and strap on your boots for the long haul. A millionaire didn’t become a millionaire because they didn’t put any work in (or at least not the person who first made the millions). And relationships don’t last because we quit when it gets boring? Now, did they?

Like our goals, relationships take work, and a lot of work. So, ask yourself next time…is asking for their Snapchat really going to progress this relationship further? And if the answer is yes, ask yourself again. Don’t fear getting to know someone or getting attached to someone. You won’t last long with someone who doesn’t understand you, who doesn’t know you. And let me tell you, knowing that they buy their toilet paper at Walmart or that they’re at Walmart buying toilet paper right now isn’t going to end in marriage. At least not if you start out that way.

The answers are in the phone numbers. So just ask for it! And if you’re too intimidated to ask for just their phone number, ask for both the number and their Snapchat…but use both of them. Have late night conversations over text message or be bold and call them. Although, I’ll admit if someone just randomly called me just to talk I’d be like, “What you are doing, man?” because I hate answering phone calls, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t pick up the phone for that special someone. Text messages are places where real conversation can happen...“can” being the key word as anyone can be fake over written messages. However, it’s a place where your memories and the inside jokes start and are stored. It’s the places where you can go and smile at what someone had said a thousand times. It’s the place where you’re not going, “I’m sorry, it deleted, what did you say?” or “I’m sorry, I don’t remember what I said?” because it can’t be deleted without you manually doing it. You might not find out that they’re at Walmart buying toilet paper this way, but you find who they are within the words they send. Our lives are documentaries that we forgot to press record on, or at least we should forget to press record on. Our lives are the moments we embrace and experience without the constant paparazzi (a.k.a. our phones) catching our every movement. The second we step away from the camera, from social media, from the short-term goals, we become our authentic selves. Isn’t that what you want to get to know?

So, don’t be ridiculous…ask for their phone number, put your best foot forward. Find their authentic selves, instead of just watching the replay of their lives they choose to show the world on Snapchat. And be authentic, because you can’t ask something of someone you wouldn’t do for them. And lastly, do not be the perpetrator of your own life. Pack what you need, strap on your boots, grab a bottle of water and start working toward your goals, whether that be in a relationship or your long-term goals. It’s a mountain to climb, but it gets easier. 

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Alyssa Guzman is a Senior at Siena College, and is the Editor-in-Chief for Her Campus Siena. She is currently Double Majoring in English and Communications Journalism with a minor in Writing and Communications. She hopes to one day be a New York Times Bestselling Author in Fiction, but plans on starting in the journalism world with dreams of writing for Cosmopolitan or the New York Times. In her free time, she enjoys fashion, writing, and listening to the newest Taylor Swift release. 
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