Social Media

The Impermanent

“New experiences like Snapchat might never have happened inside Facebook, because in many ways it’s a reaction to Facebook itself. The rawness and ephemeral nature of Snapchat’s “disappearing” content is the locus of its appeal: it allows you to share, connect, interact, and then move on.” – New Yorker

The nature of what it means to social network has changed from one of public sharing to private messaging based on impermanence.

Snaps are like talking with someone off the record. Even the content that gets shared publicly to Stories disappears in a day’s time. While it’s true that Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram content gets buried in news feeds anyway, the content is still archived, indexed, and discoverable.

If your content self-destructs, what’s the point of making it perfectly edited? Moments are more important than filters.

Every day is a new day on Snapchat. At its essence, it does what all social networks do: encourage sharing. But it extends conversation without inculcating long term memory, as quick as a snap.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.