Snapchat: the social media app we all know + (some of us) love. Since coming on the scene in 2011, Snapchat has taken off in Millennial + Gen Z culture. For many, it has become a part of daily life. Snapchat has leaked into our friendships + relationships, a like. As someone who has noticed the role Snapchat played in my dating life, I decided to see how others felt the platform played a role in their relationships both romantic + otherwise. After creating + distributing a survey, this is what I found.
Who + what are we snapping?
90% of the people who completed my survey said that they snap at least a few times a week. 74% snapping multiple times per day. So who are those people communicating with? Mostly friends, current romantic connections, family, and past romantic connections. What I found particularly interesting, is the differences in what we are snapping to friends versus what we send to a romantic partner. People are 14% more likely to send a cute selfie to a romantic connections than a friend but 39% more likely to send a comical (or ugly) selfie to a friend instead of a romantic connections. Other things people often snap both friends + romantic connections include nights out + things that remind them of the recipient.
Why are people snapping romantic connections?
There are many different reasons people are snapping current + past romantic connections. Many people said because they wanted to see or be seen by this connection. Others said to keep themselves in that persons thoughts or get attention from them. Other reasons were to attract or entice that person, starts a conversation, or because they saw something they felt that person might enjoy. Over 3/5ths of respondents use Snapchat simultaneously with texting or another form of messaging + 65% say it was used for entirely different conversations than what was being said over text.
Many survey respondents said they like Snapchat because it is a casual form of conversation. Dating has a lot of unwritten rules. One of those (dumb IMO) rules is to avoid “double” texting or sending two texts in a row without a response. Snapchat has become a way to circumvent that convention because it doesn’t “count” as a formal form of communication. It can often serve as a reminder that they need to respond to your message or just that you exist. People get busy + texts + interest in someone can often get overshadowed by work + other obligations (not that that’s a good excuse).
How do romantic connections affect our stories?
In June of 2014, Snapchat introduced the “My Story” feature. Your Story is available for all your connections to see. For many people, sending someone a snap that is also on your story is a no-no but when it comes to romantic connections, it can be a way to make the communication seem more casual, at least 97% of survey respondents thought so. All survey respondents said they checked to see if their romantic connection had viewed their story and strategically viewed or didn’t view the story of a romantic connection last year. All respondents also noted that what they put on their story was sometimes affected by the knowledge a romantic connection might see it. (This survey was taken before Snapchat forced you to watch everyone’s story- a mistake in many people’s opinion).
How is dating today affected by Snapchat?
Most respondents said that they saw no negative or positive affects to their dating life because of Snapchat. Those that did see negative affects cited jealousy as the biggest one. When Snapchat first launched, you were able to see who your connections snapped with most. Snapchat has since done away with this envy-inducing feature. Those who say Snapchat has positively affected their dating life say that the casualness of the medium gives them a glimpse into a romantic interests real-life that other networks don’t give. Others say it is a great way to get a response back in Snapchat + through text message without seeming overbearing. Only 42% do not consider Snapchat an important form of communication with romantic interests.
All in all, Snapchat can be a great tool for those 20-somethings out in the dating world. Most respondents agree that it shouldn’t be the primary form of communication but it is a great way to get to know someone + talk with them in a more casual atmosphere. It was also noted several times what a great tool Snapchat is for long distance relationship.
This survey was taken by single (not married) respondents ages 20-34. The gender make skewed heavily female with only 5% of respondents identifying as male.
In the case of this article a romantic connection is defined as a significant other, someone you were interested in seeing romantically (or casually), or someone who was interested in dating in seeing you romantically (or casually).