Signing up for Snapchat did nothing but send me into a cyclone of thought about human connectivity.
It started whenever Snapchat became a “thing” and I told everyone that I didn’t like it. I said the same thing about Foursquare when it first came out. A few years later, once Foursquare had started losing its popularity, I finally jumped on the bandwagon. While the cool kids were distracted by the next big app, I was finally able to become mayor of that Burger King I always wanted to own. But it wasn’t long before I got bored and gave up on my dream to own the whole franchise.
A few days ago I was on the phone with a friend who just signed up for Snapchat. She wasn’t shy about telling me that I had called her while she was in the middle of getting dressed.
“Join Snapchat and I’ll send you a picture.” She said.
A Snapchat picture is the perfect medium for sexing because, like actual sex for many, it only last a few seconds.
“I’m obviously joking.” She followed up.
“Obviously!” I chuckled back.
But by that point I had already submitted my username and password, so there was no going back.
I spent the afternoon spamming my contact list with pictures of me on the couch, playing video games, and eating chicken wings. A couple friends of mine had just went away on vacation, so I received a handful of pictures of them in an airport and checking into their hotel. I responded with pictures of me making a jealous face (which for me is a pout with a hint of constipation). After my second day of taking non-stop selfies and food pictures, I was exhausted.
This may have also been because my air conditioning was out in my apartment and most of my energy was in a puddle of sweat on the carpet. If I’m not in a comfortable 64-67 degree environment, I tend to resemble Mr. Freeze in the tropics without his protective suit. My apartment was only 74 degrees and my head was in the refrigerator inhaling leftover pizza. That was when Sarah called.
“You aren’t allowed to complain.” She stated.
Sarah and I were roommates my senior year of college. When we graduated, she moved back to Texas where she’s originally from. Whenever I visit her, I fly home with a hangover and a sunburn.
“When you walk outside here, it actually feels like you’re on fire.” She explained. “You wouldn’t survive.”
“I dunno.” I shot back. “I know a thing or two about clothes catching fire.”
This was in reference to a pair of white wash jeans I used to wear in college. At least until I moved in with two women and they literally took them out into the back yard and set them on fire.
These are the stories we tend to repeat when we touch base every month or so. But the conversations also consist of new stories like her joining the Austin roller derby scene and me traveling for work. We talk about the people we interact with on a daily basis. We feel like we know some of each others’ friends even if we’ve never met them before.
If we were both on Snapchat, we’d be able to share these stories instantly. All of my friends from high school, college, and beyond could live in perfect harmony within my phone. And that may work for some people, but not me. It’s far too much work.
I like to try to be fully focused on the stories I’m living now, stopping now and then to touch base with those I’ve shared moments with before. Sometimes I probably go too long without checking in, but I’m working on that.
Sarah is still one of my best friends. And when we see each other in person it’s like nothing has changed. But she’s in Texas, I’m in Ohio, and as much as an app could bring us together virtually, there are still people that she can actually see and be physically close to every day. Same with me.
Sarah and I discussed this a bit while I was melting last Friday. We dawned on the fact that we are getting old and starting to shake our heads at new technology. In the middle of that conversation, the repair guy showed up and I couldn’t talk anymore. I let her go with the knowledge that I’ll call her again in a few weeks and catch up.
Once my AC was fixed I picked up my phone, made my “It’s going to take a little while for the apartment to cool down, but I’m excited I’m going to be able to sleep without sweating” face, and sent it to her…just in case she was wondering.