Don't be a NARP. Learn to Snapchat like a boss from a 13-year old.
February 9, 2016 1:11 PM   Subscribe

"I thought I was pretty good at Snapchat. Then I watched my little sister ..." Buzzfeed's Ben Rosen learns to Snapchat like a boss from his 13-year old sister. "I would watch in awe as she flipped through her snaps, opening and responding to each one in less than a second with a quick selfie face. She answered all 40 of her friends’ snaps in under a minute. How was this even possible?"
posted by zanni (155 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
There comes a time to stop being concerned if teenagers would approve of you or not. I submit that, for Ben Rosen, that time is now.
posted by thelonius at 1:15 PM on February 9, 2016 [33 favorites]


I watched a thirteen year old snapchat over winter break. My takeaway was that she was basically just texting, but she took a selfie to send with every text. I didn't really get it. I am 34.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 1:17 PM on February 9, 2016 [27 favorites]


> I don’t really see what they send. I tap through so fast. It’s rapid fire.

Dopamine's a hell of a drug.

Anyway, yeah, teens can have Snapchat, and I'll stick with my shit that they don't care about and everyone will be happy.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:18 PM on February 9, 2016 [17 favorites]


where do these people get reliable mobile internet I want some
posted by doiheartwentyone at 1:18 PM on February 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


Neuropathy, ataxia, and retinitis pigmentosa?
National Association of Railroad Passengers??

what am I doing????
posted by supermedusa at 1:18 PM on February 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


Except Marketers. Marketers have to "get" whatever the "kids" are doing, poor dears.
posted by idiopath at 1:19 PM on February 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


A coworker friend a couple years ago tried to get me on snapchat. He's only about a year and a half younger than me, but he also spends all day snapchatting. He'd ask me for dating advice a lot, and I'd be like well what was the last text she sent you, and he'd be like "it was a snapchat and she sent me a selfie holding a pear in front of her face so I sent her a snapchat back that was a selfie holding a pulled pork sandwich in front of my face. was that wrong?" I got a lot of snaps from that dude while he was in the tub. Not, like, personally to me, but he kept posting stories, I guess, to everybody he knew of him sitting in bubble baths.

I deleted the app.
posted by phunniemee at 1:21 PM on February 9, 2016 [146 favorites]


A sad story:

I downloaded snapchat and they asked me for my birthdate and for some reason I wrote that I was 12. They wouldn't let me [insert verb for use snapchat]. Then I tried to change my birthday and they said I couldn't, so I guess I will learn to snap away in 6 years when my username turns 18. One day, one day...
posted by goneill at 1:25 PM on February 9, 2016 [62 favorites]


Also: Bitmoji

I am old and don't get it but apparently it is a thing.

*dodders off into early 30s*
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:26 PM on February 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


As payback, he should teach her the ins and outs of ASCII art sigs, and possibly Geek Code.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:27 PM on February 9, 2016 [16 favorites]


Gee, self-selected users of a text-heavy website — in fact, one where everyday users have been unable to post images in threads since October 2006 — find a primarily image-based mode of communication unappealing. Who would've guessed?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:27 PM on February 9, 2016 [163 favorites]


I’m streets behind!
posted by Going To Maine at 1:28 PM on February 9, 2016 [42 favorites]


At some point in your life, you'll realize that the most current social media has zoomed far past you and you're never going to catch up. It probably happened me a few years ago with Instagram but whoever you are, it'll happen to you eventually. Somehow I'm not bothered by this.
posted by octothorpe at 1:28 PM on February 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm very much in favor of snapchat, as I am with any activity that takes place far from the green, green grass that is my lawn.
posted by dersins at 1:30 PM on February 9, 2016 [30 favorites]


Snapchat is brutally grindy. My APM is a pathetic 42 and I'm wasting like 2-3 hours every single day practicing. I'm stressing out so much that I'm unwittingly sending dick pics to my own sock puppets. FML
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:31 PM on February 9, 2016 [49 favorites]


I guess I will learn to snap away in 6 years when my username turns 18.

Or possibly next year. But check with your nearest teenager, they tend to know how old you have to pretend to be to be able to sign up for various services.
posted by effbot at 1:31 PM on February 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


This sounds like hell itself.

Even as a teenager, this would have been utter torture.

I loved BBSing as a kid because it meant that I didn't have to deal with people in realtime.
posted by bonehead at 1:31 PM on February 9, 2016 [17 favorites]


Gee, self-selected users of a text-heavy website — in fact, one where everyday users have been unable to post images in threads since October 2006 — find a primarily image-based mode of communication unappealing. Who would've guessed?

posted by DevilsAdvocate


Well, of course it was.
posted by eriko at 1:32 PM on February 9, 2016 [35 favorites]


Wait are we(for a value that profoundly does not include 32 year old me) back to sending snaps to people? I thought it was only stories now? When did that change?

I am old, but I have Snap Chat. Mostly I get cat/dog pictures from two friends who have cat and dog. Sometimes I get pictures of new hair cuts or like people looking sad in boring conference calls. One time I saw a nipple and it confused and surprised me, which seems like teenage behavior to me.

I'm happy with my Snap Chat use, though, and isn't that the real Snapping like a boss?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:33 PM on February 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


find a primarily image-based mode of communication unappealing. Who would've guessed?

eh, i love tumblr and vine and insta but snapchat is like, just send me a fucking photo text like god intended and stop wasting my battery with this stupid app
posted by poffin boffin at 1:33 PM on February 9, 2016 [15 favorites]


He'd ask me for dating advice a lot, and I'd be like well what was the last text she sent you, and he'd be like "it was a snapchat and she sent me a selfie holding a pear in front of her face so I sent her a snapchat back that was a selfie holding a pulled pork sandwich in front of my face. was that wrong?"

Yes, what was the was correct answer?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:35 PM on February 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


A coworker friend a couple years ago tried to get me on snapchat. He's only about a year and a half younger than me, but he also spends all day snapchatting. He'd ask me for dating advice a lot, and I'd be like well what was the last text she sent you, and he'd be like "it was a snapchat and she sent me a selfie holding a pear in front of her face so I sent her a snapchat back that was a selfie holding a pulled pork sandwich in front of my face. was that wrong?"

Oh my god, this is one of the funniest things I've ever read
posted by clockzero at 1:38 PM on February 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


Metafilter: self-selected users of a text-heavy website
posted by randomkeystrike at 1:42 PM on February 9, 2016 [32 favorites]


ive just submitted a question to edge.org about what a pear in snapchat means. will keep you updated
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:42 PM on February 9, 2016 [12 favorites]


Yes, what was the was correct answer?

Me: Like Magritte?
Him: Who?
Me: ...I'm sure the bbq was fine.
posted by phunniemee at 1:43 PM on February 9, 2016 [116 favorites]


she sent me a selfie holding a pear in front of her face so I sent her ... a selfie holding a pulled pork sandwich in front of my face.

This is either a Zen koan, or one of those questions they ask you in a Google job interview.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:44 PM on February 9, 2016 [35 favorites]


It means you had the pear dream again. Ha!

I don't know why the 13 year olds I Snapchat don't appreciate my Kids in the Hall references. I'm worried there's something really wrong with this generation. I'm gonna snap them some pictures of Jim Morrison and Robert Plant because they need to be reminded that they don't understand music either
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:45 PM on February 9, 2016 [15 favorites]


Very little of this makes much sense to a man old enough to remember being advised to wait *three days* to call after being given a girl's phone number, to avoid seeming "desperate."
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:45 PM on February 9, 2016 [20 favorites]


Obviously one of Snapchat's biggest selling points for teens is that everyone here hates it
posted by roger ackroyd at 1:45 PM on February 9, 2016 [49 favorites]


This is either a Zen koan, or one of those questions they ask you in a Google job interview.

Like Google employees understand Snapchat. They don't even get Facebook.
posted by w0mbat at 1:47 PM on February 9, 2016 [9 favorites]


Oh my God. The pear is basically the bread of the fruit world -- it goes with everything! It takes cheese well, but also sweets, and savories!

In other words, he gave exactly the right answer.
posted by maxsparber at 1:48 PM on February 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Obviously one of Snapchat's biggest selling points for teens is that everyone here hates it

Right? I looked at the Buzzfeed post and was like "I can legally drink, why the fuck should I care what teens are doing?"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:48 PM on February 9, 2016 [27 favorites]


I downloaded Snapchat. I was all prepared to try it but realized I don't know anyone who uses or really have contact with the demographic that does so it's not super useful except for chatting with myself.
posted by Jalliah at 1:48 PM on February 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


I remember this one possibly apocryphal story about a school that banned texting or chatrooms or something, so instead this one clique of girls decided to use the comment page on some random blog as their message hub. The owner of the blog was very confused as to why he suddenly had a huge spike in comment traffic, seemingly unrelated to his blog and one of the girls told him the details, that they'd pick a different blog every day to hide what they were doing. Kids will find a way to communicate.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 1:49 PM on February 9, 2016 [19 favorites]


There are three stations on the walk of life. There is being a teen. There is being worried that you don't get what teens are into. There is not caring.

There is no next station, because after that comes death.
posted by maxsparber at 1:50 PM on February 9, 2016 [17 favorites]


Me: Like Magritte?
Him: Who?


DTMFA!
posted by eriko at 1:51 PM on February 9, 2016 [12 favorites]


PSA if you have a teen in your life, the kindest thing you can do is not try to understand the inscrutable apps they use to communicate with their peers, and if you must try to understand it, for god's sake at least don't attempt to use it yourself
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:51 PM on February 9, 2016 [10 favorites]


i mean i have twitch on my phone so i can livestream myself petting dogs in sweaters, i think i'm probably well within the desired demographic for snapchat

and i think it's kinda dumb
posted by poffin boffin at 1:54 PM on February 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


One thing I like about the present - it has started to feel like the future to me. On the one hand, that means I'm old. On the other hand, it's easy to feel like I'm in a near-future SF novel, or one of those sixties John Brunner-type ones with all the pop culture bits.
posted by Frowner at 1:55 PM on February 9, 2016 [11 favorites]


When I was 13 if you wanted to make a silly face at someone you had to break into their house and find them
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:56 PM on February 9, 2016 [48 favorites]


Me: Like Magritte?
Him: Who?

DTMFA!


ugh omg they're not even 'together' or whatever
posted by clockzero at 1:56 PM on February 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


You don't know how terrifying this article is if you're the parent of a pre-teen. IT'S COMING...
posted by zipadee at 1:56 PM on February 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


BROOKE: [...]One of the biggest fights kids have with their parents is about data usage.

This is so hilariously and ridiculously new-fangled to me, and 20 years from now it's going to sound positively old-fashioned and downright quaint.

Interesting times.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:00 PM on February 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


I don't know why the 13 year olds I Snapchat don't appreciate my Kids in the Hall references. I'm worried there's something really wrong with this generation. I'm gonna snap them some pictures of Jim Morrison and Robert Plant because they need to be reminded that they don't understand music either

you're hip, you're cool, you're 45
posted by peep at 2:00 PM on February 9, 2016 [19 favorites]


really snapchat is decaying

the cool kids use block chain to hook up

im working on blokhook, a mt gox style decentralized exchange for anon hookups
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:01 PM on February 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


Why's everyone so hostile?

I think it sounds fascinating and it was a great idea for an article. And I have no idea what they're doing with snapchat or indeed why.
Mainly, why does she not even look at the snaps she gets? It's no longer about communicating content, it's more like a "poke", a quick impuls that is itself the communication? Is this like the cookie clicker of conversations?
What are they getting out of it? I'd love to know more.
posted by Omnomnom at 2:01 PM on February 9, 2016 [11 favorites]


Why's everyone so hostile?

Because not getting the latest media-whatever is one of the sure signs of old age, decrepitude and death. No one likes to be reminded they're worm food in waiting.
posted by signal at 2:03 PM on February 9, 2016 [11 favorites]


How do you do snapchat? You just do snapchat. #wittertainment
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:03 PM on February 9, 2016 [9 favorites]


I ... I've never cared about what teens were doing. Not even when I was a teen.

Which, I guess, explains a lot.
posted by aramaic at 2:04 PM on February 9, 2016 [9 favorites]


"No conversations… it’s mostly selfies."
posted by four panels at 2:04 PM on February 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


One of the biggest fights kids have with their parents is about data usage.

Back in my day, the biggest fights kids had with their parents was about SMS usage.

Also, I have not tried Snapchat. By the time I was interested in trying, I was warned away from doing so by legions of Nexus 5X users who stated that it had awful performance, caused massive lag, and ate battery life like cookie monster eats cookies.
posted by qcubed at 2:04 PM on February 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Bitchamin Hoesen. Brilliant.
posted by Caskeum at 2:06 PM on February 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Back in my day, the biggest fights kids had with their parents was about usage of the one phone line that the entire house had. #getoffmylawn
posted by randomkeystrike at 2:07 PM on February 9, 2016 [32 favorites]


Like Google employees understand Snapchat. They don't even get Facebook.

Do they at least get pulled pork sandwiches?
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:11 PM on February 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Back in my day, the biggest fights kids had with their parents was about usage of the one phone line that the entire house had.

Why did you only have one cell phone for the house?
posted by qcubed at 2:11 PM on February 9, 2016 [44 favorites]


What are they getting out of it?

The illusion of popularity. Also, Skinner Box feels.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:12 PM on February 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've found Still Buffering, one of the latest offerings from the McElroy/Smirl podcasting Empire, highly entertaining. Sydney McElroy talks with her teenage sister about teen life then and now.

(Everybody in that family is so damn good at podcasting, it's unfair.)
posted by kmz at 2:17 PM on February 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


Side question: Is NARP only a thing because nerd culture is so mainstreamed now that everyone is a nerd and thus the jocks need a new thing to yell?
posted by Wretch729 at 2:18 PM on February 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


So glad I'm not a teen anymore. In related news, so glad my daughter isn't a teen yet.
posted by town of cats at 2:21 PM on February 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


ME: Wait. Really? I have like 30.
BROOKE: OMG!! 30?? Only NARPs have less than 150.
ME: What the hell is a NARP?
BROOKE: Nonathletic Regular Person. NARP.
ME: Ah. So…I’m basic?
BROOKE: Yeah.


A few weeks ago our teen's texts started showing up on my GF's phone because (legit, not snooping) reasons, and much of what was on there was her admonishing her friends for saying shit like this, so... #notallteenagers, I guess.

She doesn't snap chat much but texts like 10,000/month.
posted by Huck500 at 2:24 PM on February 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I remember keeping 6 AIM windows open at once and maintaining conversations in all of them. I don't think I could do that now. I think this is similar.
posted by Hactar at 2:26 PM on February 9, 2016 [12 favorites]


The author of the piece looks like a baby to me, never mind his little sister. I have Snapchat, but only because one of the kids at work uses it, and she's trying to get me to, and I'm like, meh... I mean, I get it. I have bunch of friends who use it. I just don't care.

/old
posted by droplet at 2:27 PM on February 9, 2016


I got on the elevator the other day and there was a young woman already on the elevator who was snapchatting furiously (I peek at people's phones). I pushed the 1 button because she hadn't. I live on the 8th floor of my building and have since then seen her getting off on the 4rth floor.

Efficiency at snapchatting may not be the be all and end all of life.
posted by srboisvert at 2:29 PM on February 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


snapchat eludes me but damn if i don't love a nice dank meme
posted by palomar at 2:29 PM on February 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


What strikes me most about what I see the pre-&teens in out family doing is the diversity. One's on whatsapp, one is totally obsessed with pinterest, for another it's the chat interface in minecraft, another just uses Steam and yet another is a mod on Ravelry. No snapchatters.
posted by bonehead at 2:29 PM on February 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Whenever I read BuzzFeed, I'm always a little baffled by what youth are focused on so it's amusing to see a BuzzFeed writer be confused by kids these days. It's a sort of demonstration of the transitive property of #getoffmylawn.
posted by octothorpe at 2:33 PM on February 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Don't be a NARP.

Y.....yarp?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:35 PM on February 9, 2016 [33 favorites]


for god's sake at least don't attempt to use it yourself

My 14 year old daughter made me an Instagram account and told her almost 6000 followers to follow me. Apparently, I'm "mom goals" and not gonna lie, it makes me feel awesome when other teenagers on the internet tell my teenager that I'm "cool af." Not because I care what they think, but it helps my kid put me in perspective.
posted by Ruki at 2:36 PM on February 9, 2016 [38 favorites]


"Her name is Elsbeth but I call her Elsbitch"

It's jarring for me to see that used affectionately. Is it like "Boo, you whore!" from Mean Girls?
posted by Monochrome at 2:36 PM on February 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I guess it's a thing these days. There's also Cumberbitch, i.e. a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch. Urban dictionary has an entry from 2011, so it's been around since then at least.
posted by crazy with stars at 2:41 PM on February 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: I've never cared about what teens were doing. Not even when I was a teen.
posted by Captain Chesapeake at 2:42 PM on February 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's jarring for me to see that used affectionately. Is it like "Boo, you whore!" from Mean Girls?

Yes and it has been a thing since at least when I was 13, and I'm sure even before my time.
posted by phunniemee at 2:43 PM on February 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: I've never cared about what teens were doing. Not even when I was a teen.

I wasn't a hipster before it was cool to not be a hipster.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:44 PM on February 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


Snapchat is great and haters can stand to the side. It's fun to get little snippets of video or photos from your friends, and they don't take up any space in your phone's memory. My only regret is that so many wonderful snaps are lost in time, like tears in the rain.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:47 PM on February 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


I had to explain a snapchat knockoff to a lady (who was maybe 40 years older than me?) who came in for Tech Drop In (Bring us your tech! A librarian will help you learn it!) and had me explaining all the apps on her first smartphone.

I don't think I made a convert when I said, "I mainly use this to make faces at my friends, or to send them a picture that I don't really expect them to keep, like, 'look how big this spider is!'" She was like, "Huh. That's...something all right" but humored my enthusiasm anyway.

My theory is that if you read Harry Potter at an impressionable age, then you're more likely to be thrilled about photo snapshots that move.
posted by blnkfrnk at 2:51 PM on February 9, 2016 [10 favorites]


Very little of this makes much sense to a man old enough to remember being advised to wait *three days* to call after being given a girl's phone number, to avoid seeming "desperate."

Or old enough to have had to wait an hour to download a porn jpeg via modem.
posted by echocollate at 2:53 PM on February 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


This is a wonderful parallel to that thread the other day where the Olds were moaning about how the internet has done nothing but go downhill since the 90s.
posted by happyroach at 2:57 PM on February 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


ME: So if I follow all those rules, I’ll be Snapchatting like a boss?
ELSBITCH: Be a boss to snap like a boss.


I feel like I need Elsbitch to be my life coach.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:59 PM on February 9, 2016 [20 favorites]


It's been September since 1993, I'll have you know.
posted by bonehead at 3:00 PM on February 9, 2016 [14 favorites]


Apparently, I'm "mom goals"

That's totally clever and funny.
posted by Miko at 3:02 PM on February 9, 2016


I like snapchat because of the impermanence (supposed) of the texts and pictures. it also lets you know if someone screenshots your image/text so you know who's holding onto that information vs. your photos possibly getting randomly distributed as it does via every other social platform. you can also curate the audience for particular snaps because you can select a few people who'll see it instead of just blasting your entire network

as such, it's a both little bit more throwaway with the content (ie only semi-regrettable drunk snaps) and way more low-effort than maintaining a blog about you and your life when all you really want is to share the nice dinner you made with some of your fellow foodie friends or like cat pictures for your cat obsessed friends without having to rep that foodie/cat/etc identity as part of your profile
posted by runt at 3:05 PM on February 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


impermanence (supposed)

This is the best thing about snapchat, IMO. It's going to be the Worst Thing Ever if this turns out not to be the case. Kids, in particular, shouldn't have to care about where they'll be at 25 or 35 or 45. Facebook, instagram, all of them, should have forgetability as a core feature.
posted by bonehead at 3:08 PM on February 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


I have a guess about that (supposed).
posted by brennen at 3:11 PM on February 9, 2016


I read this earlier and was hoping someone would make an FPP - thanks zanni!

As a father of 3.2 teenage/former teenage girls, I can say it's right on. My girls don't text, they snapchat. I'm flattered that they even said "Oooh Da you have to get snapchat! so we can talk!" and I did and it's a whirlwind, and it's alien, and I don't really understand it, I just adapt. They don't text me anymore, they snapchat. Text? Nah. Email? HAH

A lot of my over-50 friends can be divided into two camps, regarding emerging technology:

1) New technology is an obstacle to communication!

2) Display some fucking adaptability

Snapchat it is, for me. Display some fucking adaptability or go home.

The Snapchat UI/UX is notoriously awkward and unintuitive from the viewpoint of stuffy professional UE/UI/UX designers and engineers, but the kids just adapt in a few minutes and make it work at light speed, which is really funny. *I* think it's funny when my grand, curated stack of UX design principles, HCI guidelines and industry standard UI templates are simply trampled underfoot by a pack of wild, egregiously enthusiastic 13 year olds who take it to the stratosphere like some improbable Kerbal Space Program rocket. Seriously, it's hilarious. Stuffy old designers like me just have to sit back and say, "Well. Damn."

Rock on, Brooke and Elspbitch.
posted by sidereal at 3:11 PM on February 9, 2016 [82 favorites]


yeah, I see snapchats posted all the time to Buzzfeed, tumblr, reddit. They're not impermanent if you can take a screenshot.
posted by desjardins at 3:13 PM on February 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


A few years ago I was taking Chem 101 in college as basically the only non-first year student. At one point, the professor was making some sort of joke, and asked for the best way to communicate with your friends these days. He and I were flummoxed together when people yelled out snapchat.

And that's when I gave up being cool.
posted by raeka at 3:13 PM on February 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's jarring for me to see that used affectionately. Is it like "Boo, you whore!" from Mean Girls?

My female friends and I were calling each other "bitch" in high school as a sign of affection back in 1985. Much to the horror of our male friends, who'd boggle and go "Did you just HEAR what she called you?!" every time.
posted by telophase at 3:14 PM on February 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


My wife does it while she is having a bath.
I can't understand why she is so popular cause she's not the world's best conversationalist.!!
posted by Burn_IT at 3:14 PM on February 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


This makes me feel old; to think, I only use snapchat to send sexy pictures.

Anyway, it sounds about right. I was lucky as a young teenager, I got to share a phone line with the modem so it was ALMOST as if I had my own phone. And I spent HOURS at a time on the phone with my friends. Today it would be texting or snapchatting that much. Hell, today it IS texting that much. Well, it would be if we didn't all have, like, jobs and other things to do that take up all that time.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 3:17 PM on February 9, 2016


It's stuff like this that makes me feel like Jan Rodricks in Childhood's End.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:26 PM on February 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


it also lets you know if someone screenshots your image/text

TFA tells you how to get around this (and demonstrates that there exist at least two teenagers who are aware of it).
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:35 PM on February 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


As Sherry Turkle notes, smart phone users do this stuff but face to face friendship and talk is becoming a thing of the past.
posted by Postroad at 3:40 PM on February 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


face to face friendship and talk is becoming a thing of the past.

Has there been any research on this or is this just something that old people repeat over and over? I'm friends with a bunch of 20-somethings and they go out in person all the time. Social media enables that. I myself have met many, many people face to face I would have never met otherwise. I get the feeling that snapchat is mostly used with people you already know (and likely also speak to face-to-face). Furthermore, why is in-person conversation necessarily superior? My generation (I'm 40) used to talk on the phone endlessly when we were teens.
posted by desjardins at 3:45 PM on February 9, 2016 [39 favorites]


Hell, I don't even get Twitter...
posted by HuronBob at 3:56 PM on February 9, 2016


What are they getting out of it? I'd love to know more.

Me too. I'm totally out of the loop wrt Snapchat, but I really loved the recent episode of TAL where teenage girls explained the nuances of their communications on Instagram. Ostensibly, they all just post selfies and their followers - other teenage girls from their social group - tell them in so many different ways how cute they are, which sounds nice although a bit pointless. But dig a little deeper and it turns out to be amazing how much nuanced information they glean from between the lines - from how quickly someone reacts, what precise wording they use, etc. - providing them with an instantly updated map of the shifting social topography around them.

I thought it was fascinating, and also made me think of all the other communication hidden in plain sight that people have made use of throughout the history, like the placing of beauty marks in Versailles revealing who's dtf, or Victorian talking bouquets.

So, I'm betting Snapchat isn't only about funny selfies for the kids in the know. On the other hand, NARP? That would have been me at 13. At least I was spared from having that be painfully visible and undeniable due to a puny number of followers or story views or whatever. *shudder*
posted by sively at 3:57 PM on February 9, 2016 [13 favorites]


Is this boss like "bawsss" or like the southern rap pronunciation "bhouse"?

This may change my answer.
posted by dr_dank at 4:09 PM on February 9, 2016


> The owner of the blog was very confused as to why he suddenly had a huge spike in comment traffic, seemingly unrelated to his blog and one of the girls told him the details, that they'd pick a different blog every day to hide what they were doing.

In 1996 I met a girlfriend in a chatroom on the Healthy Choice website. Yes, that Healthy Choice. It was the strangest thing, though...virtually nobody talked about nutrition or exercise or frozen meals.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:19 PM on February 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Snapchat hasn't made it to the Social App portion of the metafilter profile, so clearly it can't be all that popular.

(See you all on AOL Instant Messenger...)
posted by madajb at 4:25 PM on February 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Case in point, I just took a snapchat of my tired face and pasted the word NARP on it (a word I didn't know until I read this article) in big letters sent it to my daughters and they all instantaneously replied "OMG" and "YEAH" and "I LOVE YOU DA" and "WUT".
posted by sidereal at 4:36 PM on February 9, 2016 [61 favorites]


It's just keeping in touch with your friends via whatever medium happens to be popular with them. Theirs happens to be photos and filters, so you take selfies because otherwise you have to find something different and interesting in the room every time you ping. They don't have to be information rich because of the quantity, you barely note them in the same way you don't scroll up to read through the irc channel you've been idling in.

My usage is on a completely different level, a picture of a fruit that looks like a face or a pancake with "PONKEK" typed on top of it once a week or so, but I find it fills out a niche in communication. One of my best friends (and the person who got me onto Snapchat) moved to Australia recently, and getting random photos with the ridiculous temperature noted or interesting local fauna feels a lot more like hanging out than a phonecall or a text chat.
posted by lucidium at 5:08 PM on February 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


(See you all on AOL Instant Messenger...)

ICQ or GTFO.
posted by entropicamericana at 5:21 PM on February 9, 2016 [9 favorites]


Has there been any research on this or is this just something that old people repeat over and over?

Well, Sherry Turkle has…
posted by Going To Maine at 5:22 PM on February 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


This might not be the best place to drop a link relevant to snapchat, but I've been intrigued with snapchat's potential from an international perspective: What things can you see and participate, based on what someone wants to share with you? (Couldn't find the original article, but video is still here...What pilgrims showed the world from Mecca via snapchat.) I've wanted to look into snapchat for that reason, but I'm not only old, but I'm lazy, so...

The original post was cute, but more as a "here is the world of a 13 year old" (ie, loved the picture with Brooke's selfie modified into a cat, or the clock with for the end of the school day with hearts around it.) It is a different medium, but the same thing IMO (it is humorous from afar.)
posted by Wolfster at 5:23 PM on February 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


I use it only for pictures of my cats, because my Facebook feed was getting kind of pathetically full of cats. I send (snap?) cat pictures to the small number of people who I know are always down for a picture of my cats.
posted by BrashTech at 5:24 PM on February 9, 2016


Somebody needs to Photoshop a pulled pork sandwiche into The Son of Man.
posted by schmod at 5:28 PM on February 9, 2016


BrashTech: "I send (snap?) cat pictures to the small number of people who I know are always down for a picture of my cats."

I only got Snapchat because someone I know adopted a tiny, super-cute Scottish Fold kitty and posts videos of it on Snapchat. Worth it.
posted by mhum at 5:37 PM on February 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Also, I'm a little disappointed that the original article didn't have video of the 13-year-old actually doing 40 snaps in under a minute. I kinda want to see what that looks like. Is it like watching high-level Starcraft players?
posted by mhum at 5:38 PM on February 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


One comment asked if there were any studies, evidence, for the statement I had made that more and more young people, relying so much on cells, were having less and less face to face talking. I had provided the link to a review article that dealt with three books on the subject, focusing my comment on the Turkle study, which provides the data HERE
posted by Postroad at 5:48 PM on February 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I love my Snapchat but it's kind of fallen off in my friend group. There's always those 3 or 4 people posting (boring and pointless) snap stories, but the friends of mine who used to doodle weird stuff during work have migrated back to gchat. Sad.
posted by sallybrown at 5:52 PM on February 9, 2016


"If you want to take a screenshot without your friend knowing, turn on airplane mode, take the screenshot, log out of the app immediately, turn off airplane mode, and then load the app back up."

People can tell when you take screenshots??
posted by triggerfinger at 5:52 PM on February 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


"No conversations… it’s mostly selfies."

Being among The Olds, I really have no experience with this SnapChatter thing and speak with absolutely no real-world knowledge whatsoever. But, based on what I've read, I'd assume that if it's done correctly, it's mostly metaphor.
posted by workerunit at 5:53 PM on February 9, 2016


What? No major🔑's to success in the this discussion about Snapchat? Y'all need to #blessup.
posted by sideshow at 5:54 PM on February 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


PSA if you have a teen in your life, the kindest thing you can do is not try to understand the inscrutable apps they use to communicate with their peers, and if you must try to understand it, for god's sake at least don't attempt to use it yourself

Man, that's, like, cruel - do you have any idea how many poor start-ups are out there burning through money just waiting for the moment when The Adults start trying to SnapChat, whereupon all the teenagers will abandon the app like rats from a sinking ship, and hopefully ("please please please oh please god let it be us") pick their app as the New Hot?

Which is to say, it's pretty much our duty as god-fearing Good Patriotic Capitalist Americans to jump on whatever teens are using as social media ASAP, so the next company can get its moment in the sun. And thus the Circle Of Life will continue.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:58 PM on February 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


Wired thinks SnapChat is going mainstream.

ICQ or GTFO.

IRC FTW
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:01 PM on February 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


What? No major🔑's to success in the this discussion about Snapchat? Y'all need to #blessup.

Yeah, Khaled was the thing that got me to actually pay attention to it. It's the perfect marriage of person and medium. He's so great. And given the political tenor of the day, the fact that he's the son of Palestinian immigrants gives me much joy.

I also suffer from the "old designer horrified by the UI" problem. I can intellectually accept that if it works for the target audience, then it's a valid design. But in my soul, it burns!
posted by billyfleetwood at 6:20 PM on February 9, 2016


The most unexpected thing I've learned from the internet is how iconoclasts probably felt and why they did what they did.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:25 PM on February 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Anyhow, it's actually pretty cool that this guy had a serious conversation with his sister about something that is important to her. Teen Ruki shoves her phone in my face multiple times a day to show me posts on Instagram. I smile and nod a lot, because, I really don't care about quips from the Sherlock or Supernatural fandom, but I do pay attention. And I swear that this is the reason why my teenager will talk honestly with her about her life. I know which of her friends are doing drugs and/or having sex, because she tells me. I'm a mom of a teenager who talks to me freely, and I really do believe it's due in large part because I keep up to date on the most frivolous parts of her social media. It matters to her, so it matters to me.
posted by Ruki at 7:01 PM on February 9, 2016 [24 favorites]


PSA if you have a teen in your life, the kindest thing you can do is not try to understand the inscrutable apps they use to communicate with their peers, and if you must try to understand it, for god's sake at least don't attempt to use it yourself

I think siblings are maybe an exception? Like if you're the much much older brother of a 13-year-old girl, "hey I don't get this thing you are superlative at, can you share your expertise" is maybe the most flattering thing you can possibly say. The world does not treat 13-year-old girls with any respect at all. Treating one as an authority on something is uncommon.
posted by gingerest at 7:05 PM on February 9, 2016 [22 favorites]


The world does not treat 13-year-old girls with any respect at all. Treating one as an authority on something is uncommon.

And broadcasting that authority is making rock stars (among a smallish group of middle-schoolers.)

Inevitably Elsbitch will withdraw due to Creative Differences and we will lament the demise of the golden age of SnapChat.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:12 PM on February 9, 2016


I guess I never stopped to consider that text was, like, heavy.
posted by yesster at 7:19 PM on February 9, 2016


ICQ or GTFO.

I forgot my password.
posted by madajb at 7:37 PM on February 9, 2016


I'd assume that if it's done correctly, it's mostly metaphor.
posted by workerunit at 8:53 PM on February 9


It's live action Tiger Beat, and you're the star of your own magazine.
posted by four panels at 7:46 PM on February 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


bonehead Facebook, instagram, all of them, should have forgetability as a core feature.

I have a tendency to disproportionally remember unpleasant things, and get trapped in reliving bad memories. Because I forget positive things so easily, I try to hoard objects that trigger positive memories as much as possible. Photos and messages are particularly good for me. Forgetability as a core technological feature is basically my worst nightmare. I'd be a quivering, anxious mess inside a year.

So yeah, I don't think snapchat is for me.
posted by yeolcoatl at 8:20 PM on February 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh, oh, I have a story about why I don't use Snap Chat!

I first got a smartphone a year-and-a-half ago, when I discovered smartphones were now cheaper than flip phones. It was also the first touchscreen-anything I'd owned, and the learning curve was sharper than I'd been led to believe (though I anticipated it somewhat, having attempted to fumble my way through my SO's phone to get directions and whatnot). It also took an embarrassingly long time for me to realize I could now download these "apps" everyone talked about and actually use them.

Now, my smartphone, being cheap, did not have a front-facing camera. So when I sent snaps it was a game of turning my phone around, trying to get the right angle, and then turning it back around to check the photo. Snap Chat's interface was not intuitive to this new user of touchscreens, so posting snaps was a bit of a grind. I had trouble figuring out how to edit photos, post them, delete them, view other snaps, etc.

Anyway, I decide I want to send my SO a snap of me making an ugly-weird face, as one does and I'd done many times through text. But let's use this photo communications app! Let's be a part of The Future.

Well, I did it in the middle of getting dressed. And instead of my ugly face, I shot a picture of my boobs. Awkward, poorly lit, but definitely not something appropriate outside the boudoir. I attempted to delete it. Instead I posted it to my timeline. My timeline, which had my little brother, friends, and all manner of people who did not need to be seeing that. I freaked out. Delete it! How do I delete it? Google instructions! Oh God, there are no instructions for Snap Chat because you are just supposed to know. It's supposed to be intuitive. Intuitive if you've used touchscreens, maybe! Do I post something trying to play it off as a joke? That will never work. OH GOD

There was no time for niceties. I nuked my account and uninstalled the app. Never again. I will stick to the texting and the Facebooks.
posted by schroedinger at 8:22 PM on February 9, 2016 [21 favorites]


What I don't understand are huge, stodgy brands like CNBC promoting their Snapchat presences heavily. They change their Twitter avatar to their snaptag, presumably so people could get snaps from them. Given the heavily tween/teen demo of the app it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
posted by zsazsa at 8:41 PM on February 9, 2016


Huh. It seems to me like snapchat is a tool that is used in very different ways by different circles of friends. This article is just about one mode of use among one social circle. I don't know why we're generalizing this experience to "teen snapchat users".

Anyway, this article did introduce me to VSCO, which seems legitimately cool.
posted by phooky at 8:57 PM on February 9, 2016


As someone who suffers from extreme social anxiety, and who has dreams of being functionally invisible, this modern world of social apps is a complete and total nightmare.
posted by yesster at 9:00 PM on February 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


who has dreams of being functionally invisible, this modern world of social apps is a complete and total nightmare.

God yes, so much this.
posted by aramaic at 9:05 PM on February 9, 2016


I love teens, especially teen girls. And agreed with the above, it's nice to read an article where someone respects the knowledge and expertise of teen girls.

I'm definitely too old for Snapchat. If I had friends that were using it, I'd figure it out and I'm sure it would be fun. But as it is it kind of feels like a party that I'd be crashing and where I wouldn't know anyone. I just recently got on instagram, and seeing how my roommate (who is only a few years younger than me!) uses it makes it clear that I'm not in the young-person game. She uses insta like a young person and I use it like an old person. Bah!
posted by aka burlap at 9:15 PM on February 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's jarring for me to see that used affectionately. Is it like "Boo, you whore!" from Mean Girls?

My female friends and I were calling each other "bitch" in high school as a sign of affection back in 1985.


Dunno, but there may be something in owning the prison of cultural lexicon (nsfw) in an effort to change it.
posted by four panels at 9:20 PM on February 9, 2016


As someone who suffers from extreme social anxiety, and who has dreams of being functionally invisible, this modern world of social apps is a complete and total nightmare.
That's not how I see it. It's a lot easier to slip under the radar if you don't use them. And my money's on those who *are* trying to track/monitor you becoming more and more dependent on the data streams they get from the social apps/sites because "everyone's using them". And their complacency is only gonna make it easier for us.

OK, think of this like a predator and prey situation.

The predators are anyone who's trying to track, data-mine, illegally-monitor you, etc. The prey? Us.

So let's imagine a predator prey situation with squirrels and cats. And a lot of the squirrels have spontaneously decided "Screw this boring grey color, let's go for day-glo orange". And they're not really keen on hiding in the trees anymore, they're just gonna chill on the ground. And instead of the occasional chittering, chattering sound they make, they've upgraded to megaphones and strobe lights.

You? Me? We're those lame squirrels who're still rockin' the grey fur and hanging out on some leafy branch. We make some noise, but we never really figured out how to use the megaphones, and the strobe lights hurt our eyes.

I'm betting the cats aren't paying as much attention to us anymore.
posted by -1 at 9:22 PM on February 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


I use snapchat to follow my three children at college. I really liked some of the snaps they posted but they were fleeting (duh). So, since my Android phone is rooted, I looked on Xposed and found an app called snappfrefs that automatically saved any snapchat you opened without giving a notification to the other party. Now one of my kids is home for vacation and I tell her that I loved this snap and show her one from months ago. She freaks. Apparently that is a faux pas to copy them without them knowing. All three of my kids blocked me after that. Now all I see are snaps from my alma mater.
posted by AugustWest at 9:23 PM on February 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Forgetability as a core technological feature is basically my worst nightmare. I'd be a quivering, anxious mess inside a year.

But what you want gone should be really, honestly gone, right? Not lurking in some technological dark corner to be fished out by someone poking about? Because that's how Facebook works. You can never really scrub anything from their servers, just hide it from view.

Forgetability should be in the users' hands. Snapchat is a certain context where impermanence is a site feature. You don't have to use it. But what about other sites and services? Want to keep something forever? Fine. Want to kill it forever, no takebacks? That should be possible to, at least on a services like Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest that hosts their own content.
posted by bonehead at 10:01 PM on February 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


The fact that you can screenshot snaps means fewer people use it for explicit sexting, I think, though I doubt that was ever how most people used it. In my experience it's now considered a big compliment if someone likes your snap enough to screenshot it.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 11:05 PM on February 9, 2016


bonehead But what you want gone should be really, honestly gone, right? Not lurking in some technological dark corner to be fished out by someone poking about?

That should be possible to, at least on a services like Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest that hosts their own content.

Well I think any reply is going to be far more about my personal quirks and problems than anything else, so I'm reluctant to respond here. I've said my piece and I don't think the details are going to be of interest to the thread as a whole. But since you specifically asked me, I'll respond in MeMail.
posted by yeolcoatl at 11:33 PM on February 9, 2016


I wonder what it's going to be like when today's teens are running the show in the business world. The people on top of the heap now... when they were in their formative years, the world was still running at the pace of snail mail! Communication latency has decreased by several orders of magnitude since then. Which means today's teens have a completely different taste and appetite for communication. They also don't feel the gravity of each transmission the way an older person might. I think it's going to continue reshaping the world as it radiates out from Snapchat into all aspects of daily life.
posted by mantecol at 11:43 PM on February 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Gaaahh do I have to start using Snapchat now I still don't understand Tumblr can I just keep posting to my blog and have it find a random image to go with every sentence of my blog posts or something
posted by egypturnash at 11:45 PM on February 9, 2016


Ook.
posted by flabdablet at 1:14 AM on February 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't want to be all competive here ( yes I do), but how does my exceeding at WWF not score. snapchat
has some issues if you are old
posted by unliteral at 3:30 AM on February 10, 2016


You don't know how terrifying this article is if you're the parent of a pre-teen. IT'S COMING...
For me, it's here x3. Not that terrifying, really, more mystifying. I've accepted that I'll never fully understand them and that's OK.

Back in my day, the biggest fights kids had with their parents was about usage of the one phone line that the entire house had. #getoffmylawn
Two words: party line. #noyougetoffmine.
posted by dg at 3:46 AM on February 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wish someone would track down the 10 white middle class American teenagers who aren't on social media at all and talk to them about their lives.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 5:02 AM on February 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I (a 30-something from the US) am friends with a handful of Irish teens on Snapchat. I have a pretty irish-sounding name, and a firstnamelastname@gmail.com email address, and when I installed the app a few years ago and tried to sign up for an account it told me my email was already in use... so I sent a password reset email and apparently hijacked some Irish tween's account. I've mostly ignored them over the past few years, but in honor of today's thread I've sent them all a selfie.
posted by drumcorpse at 7:03 AM on February 10, 2016 [7 favorites]


I've been using (but confused by) Snapchat for a while now. Thanks to this article I've upped my Snapchat game, big-time. Thanks!

I turn 40 this year.
posted by misskaz at 7:54 AM on February 10, 2016


I don't know why we're generalizing this experience to "teen snapchat users".

Because that's what Olds do, and have done for decades.

Reading an article on "Something Teens are Doing" makes Olds feel more in control of the present. Like they're keeping up with the next generation, and less like dinosaurs that are going to lie down and die Any Day Now.

At least this time it's about social media, and not hot rods or zip guns.
posted by happyroach at 8:20 AM on February 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Reading an article on "Something Teens are Doing" makes Olds feel more in control of the present. Like they're keeping up with the next generation

I heard a rumour the other day that some of them are having sex.
posted by flabdablet at 11:02 AM on February 10, 2016


Reading an article on "Something Teens are Doing" makes Olds feel more in control of the present.

Until they realize that if they've heard of it, chances are that it's only the Late Majority that's still using it.

Always relevant: "While we don't know for sure, we believe Happy Fast Kitchen might refer to the Yelp page for a Chinese restaurant in Cleveland, the new social media site where musician Skrillex recently dropped his latest album."
posted by effbot at 1:21 PM on February 10, 2016


I used to think I didn't get the whole social media thing because I was getting old but then I realized it's just because I'm not at all social.

On the other hand, at least I know the difference between snapchat and instagram which is something my older relatives have yet to master so I guess there's that.
posted by litera scripta manet at 2:53 PM on February 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


I wonder what it's going to be like when today's teens are running the show in the business world.

Based on my own two teens some of these things will be hyper-formative touchstones for them and some will be Club Penguin, quickly forgotten. There's just no predicting what will stick.

Buzzfeed will, however, produce a listice in 2040 about awesome things from the 2010's that are super-retro.
posted by GuyZero at 4:44 PM on February 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


so instead this one clique of girls decided to use the comment page on some random blog as their message hub... that they'd pick a different blog every day to hide what they were doing. Kids will find a way to communicate.

They do this on Barnes and Noble book reviews. It fills up some of the reviews. Kids suck.
posted by bongo_x at 12:50 AM on February 11, 2016


Also always relevant when people get puzzled by last year's teenager communication tool is Guy Hasson's short story "Generation E: The Emoticon Generation" from 2010, the story about social media juggernaut Ping! Inc.

“There are only two words people really need to be able to say,” Fox explains. “One says ‘give me attention’, the other says ‘bug off’. That’s it. Start to finish. If you have food on your plate, and you are not fighting for your life, the only vocabulary you’ll need is those two words.”
posted by effbot at 3:49 PM on February 11, 2016


I heard a rumour the other day that some of them are having sex.
I'm just glad someone is!
posted by dg at 10:20 PM on February 11, 2016


“There are only two words people really need to be able to say,” Fox explains. “One says ‘give me attention’, the other says ‘bug off’. That’s it. Start to finish. If you have food on your plate, and you are not fighting for your life, the only vocabulary you’ll need is those two words.”

That was more than two words.
posted by flabdablet at 7:14 AM on February 14, 2016


That was more than two words.

He was explaining the concept to someone who didn't know the right vocabulary and therefore didn't get what the teenagers were doing, so he had to use more words.
posted by effbot at 2:30 PM on February 14, 2016


didn't get what the teenagers were doing

Fair enough. That probably counts as some kind of "fighting for your life".
posted by flabdablet at 6:16 PM on February 14, 2016


still no reply from edge.org
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:59 PM on February 19, 2016


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