By MIA ARANDA
As a part of Snapchat’s ‘Chat 2.0’ app update on March 29, 2016, Snapstreaks were introduced to the public. In case you aren’t familiar with the subject, a Snapstreak is formed on the app, Snapchat, when two people send each other a snap, a picture where you can add filters, text, and stickers, within a window of 24 hours every day. After four days, a fire emoji and a number will appear next to the person you have been exchanging snapchats continuously. The number will increase every day when both parties send a snapchat.
If your streak is getting close to becoming lost, an hourglass emoji will appear next to the user that you have the streak with to remind you and the other person to send something immediately before it’s too late.
If you lose your streak, you will no longer have that number next to the user you were snapchatting. Sometimes, after a person loses a streak, they will even submit a request form to Snapchat in hopes of somehow getting it back. Losing a snapstreak can be devastating, especially when it has lasted for hundreds of days.
Since the start of snapstreaks, Snapchatters have constantly been working to achieve the highest streak as well as gain more streaks with other people, causing the phenomenon to become even more addictive. It is so addicting that Snapchat has been ranked one of the worst social media apps for teen mental health. As of July 15, 2018, the highest Snapstreak, according to TechJunkie’s leaderboard, was 1286 days between two snapchatters named Breck and Curtis lasting until July 6, 2018, approximately three and a half years.
Many people believe that snapstreaks keep friendships close, causing them to last longer. In reality, streaks don’t ensure a close friendship, for they are simply sending blank photos with the word “streaks” on it.
Snapstreaks may seem great, but once a user actually starts a streak, he or she realizes how difficult it takes to maintain one. Often times, many get busy and forget about the streak resulting in it being lost right away. A user may also become stressed constantly wondering if their streak is still alive. Usually to make sure it is not lost, people will send streaks in the morning and at night generally titling them “goodnight streaks” and “good morning streaks.”
In addition, when people go on vacation or even get their phone taken away they will have a friend take care of their streaks by giving them their password and relying on them to not lose any, showing that people will risk having their personal information shared with others to keep a streak alive.
As a user and their fellow Snapchatter reach a higher streak, it will seem stressful to not break it. In fact, there is a likely chance that streaks will cause unnecessary stress and anxiety as you struggle to keep the streak alive. Many have been in situations where they don’t have WiFi or are out of the country but still manage to find a way to keep their streaks alive.
According to the article, “I Broke All Of My Snapchat Streaks And You Should Too,” Kathryn Kostovetsky states that after her mom called her snapstreaks “stupid,” she came to realize that her mom was right, thus causing her to break free “from the virtual handcuffs [her and her friends] had accidentally placed on each other,” or in other words, purposely lost all of her snapstreaks.
In addition, some people will associate the number of streaks and the highest number they have as a way to show popularity. According to the article, “Devastated Snapchatters talk about the heartbreak of losing a Snapstreak after hundreds of days,” a student named Luo stated, “A really long streak is a sense of pride or accomplishment. You can show someone your streaks, and it’s almost this sense of oh yeah, we’ve talked EVERYDAY.”
In the end, streaks are nice to have but a reminder needs to be sent out to teens that streaks are not the most important thing in the world. Don’t take streaks so seriously, especially when streaks could greatly affect your mental health. The decision is yours; are streaks worth your time?